I know that it’s not technically fall yet, but I can’t help looking ahead eagerly to my favorite season. Like the springtime, fall brings a fresh start. To some, spring may represent the growth and renewal of life, while fall signifies its decay. I disagree. The trees shaking their leaves bare feels more like a cleanse than a deterioration. Minimalism brings a different kind of abundance.
Perhaps fall feels like a new beginning to me because my birthday falls early in the season. This year I turn 23, a year that’s supposed to be one of the best of my life. According to a study by The Centre for Economic Performance (London), life satisfaction peaks at age 23, and then again at age 69. Why 23? It seems that twenty-three year olds, fresh out of college and eager to take on the world, overestimate their future life satisfaction by about ten percent. This is before the disappointment of adulthood kicks in, and we become disillusioned as our hopes and dreams come crashing down (at age 24, apparently).
This sounds depressing, but if I only have a year to remain foolishly optimistic, then I’m going to make the most of it. Twenty-two was a beautiful year for me, full of adventures and achievements, some mistakes but mostly laughter. As far as I’m concerned, life can only continue to get better.
Like the seasons, birthdays are excellent landmarks for “resetting” and goal setting. Here are a few for fall and beyond:
- Read (another) ten books.
- Put my library card to better use (instead of draining my wallet into every bookstore I cross).
- Buy an indoor plant (keep it alive) and discard the ones that died over the summer…
- Go apple picking.
- Carve a pumpkin.
- Come up with my best Halloween costume yet.
- Finish my Christmas shopping by November.
- Show better appreciation for the people in my life, and all they do for me.
- Aim for two minutes of meditation per day.
- Schedule alone time each week to read, write, reflect, breathe.
Just ten goals for now. Not 23, or an extra for good luck. I’m sure this list will continue to grow, but I’m more excited for what life decides to throw at me.