Now that the children are again climbing aboard the bus and the temperature outdoors is slowly dropping, you might finally have some leisure time. If your days of blessing the bus are over, you may still find yourself with time on your hands. What activities have you been ignoring that you could pick back up, or what new ones might you start?
Go for a hike!
Instead of having to beat the sun on either end of the day, now’s the perfect time to throw on a light jacket and visit Fox Island or one of many walking trails about Fort Wayne. With the good the exercise does for your body and for your mind, there’s no downside. Invite a friend (if you’ve been neglecting friendships too while the kids were home), pack a lunch, and your afternoon is made.
Complete a project.
What’s hiding in your closet that you began last winter and quickly abandoned? Did you begin to transfer your old VHS tapes to DVD? Started to build a shelf and left the pieces in the garage? Now’s the time to complete those projects that bring you joy and satisfaction when done leisurely.
Cook as if you mean it.
Summer is ideal for grilling and loading up on salads. But now you can linger in the kitchen. It’s cooler, so you can bear to be in there, and it’s quieter, too. Try out a couple of new recipes. Experiment with those herbs and spices you bought that you haven’t even opened. Stir up a batch of soup. Buy some gourmet ingredients and go to town!
Check out your wardrobe.
You just sent your children off to school in new togs. What’s in your closet? Weed out things that are too tight, too worn, or too out of date and either trash them or give them away as appropriate. Rub your hands with glee and visit your favorite boutique, because now you’ve got time to shop without someone tugging at you.
Go to a café and people watch.
Bring a book or a magazine if you want to be more covert, but blatant people watching can be entertaining. And more than likely, some of the people you will see are other moms gratefully cradling coffee cups and breathing deep thanks for fall and that little yellow bus – mother’s true little helper.
Try a day trip.
Whether you sign up for a trip through the local parks and recreation department or just grab a few friends and go, consider a Chicago holiday shopping trip (and buy something for yourself – you just cleaned out your closest, remember?) before the season’s madness begins. What art exhibits are at nearby museums? It’s easier to enjoy the Magritte Exhibit at Chicago’s Art Institute if you are with a couple of friends rather than going with the children, and you can fit in both in a day, if you leave early enough.
Take that class!
Been wanting to learn French? Why not now? Itching to finally begin ballet (better late than never)? Fall can be the ideal time to explore interests you haven’t, even if it’s been intervening years and not just the season that has been preventing you from it.
Visit the library.
Chances are that you are a bit behind on your reading. Now’s the time to catch up. Every item you check out helps bolster their circulation rate, so you can even add a couple of DVDs to the pile without feeling guilty. And that 700+ page tome (have you read “The Goldfinch?”) that felt daunting during the summer may now seem just the perfect length.