I can’t believe it has already been 31 Days of Embracing Autumn. My hope for this series has fully answered: it helped me to make time to think ahead optimistically to the Short Days, to stop and embrace the beauty of this season. And I have really appreciated hearing from you in comments and emails!

leaf on the sunroof when I ran out for errands šŸ™‚

I was thinking this week about the whole idea of being optimistic and proactive about the coming of the Dark Days. I realize that there are days when that sounds like telling a pregnant woman to relax during childbirth. Kind of like are you kidding me!? However, the woman who works very deliberately at relaxing during childbirth, will actually experience an easier delivery.

flowers we picked up for the girls' botany class

I am not suggesting we pretend winters aren’t sometimes very difficult for many of us. I am only suggesting that we do all that we can to make it the best winter ever. And then you know what, it probably will be.

I never had a chance to share one other thing that worked so well for me in having the best winter ever. It’s something we really had to plan ahead for, both for the budget, and the time to prepare for it. Ice skating!

I was trying to think of a way to get myself outside more during the winter months. I needed a reason to look forward to cold weather. I don’t particularly enjoy sledding, becauseĀ  my feet and hands get too cold. But with ice skating you can stay moving, so your blood keeps pumping. And for the most part you aren’t actually sitting in the snow. (Once you get the hang of it anyway!)

So we built a cheap ice rink in our back yard a couple years ago. Because if I have to pack up the car and take the kids ice skating somewhere, it won’t happen much. However, if we can bundle up, put our skates on at the door, and head out back, it will happen. The ice rink was not a huge success in my husband’s eyes. Our yard is not level, and it was very imperfect (and we couldn’t skate in one corner because the ice wouldn’tĀ  hold there.) But to me, it was an overwhelming success. I got out nearly every afternoon in January and early February to help my then-5-year-old skate around the little rink. I got my heart rate up. I had no idea the muscles you use just keeping a little kid from wiping out on the ice! LOL

It’s another example of how continuing to think creatively and try new things have taken me further down the path to being the best Me I can during the Short Days.

Thanks again for joining me in this series. I hope it has been encouraging. At first I thought I would run out of things to post, but I have so many things to share, the posts along these lines and others will continue as we delve deeper into the Short Days. And I still have recipes to share! I hope you’ll join me!

This post is the last in my 31 Days series: Embracing Autumn- So long Seasonal Affective Disorder!Ā  (Find complete list of posts here). You can subscribe to receive my posts daily in your email. Just pop over to my homepage, and type in your email in the little box on the right!

Big SHOUT-OUT to the NESTER, for hosting this fun blog challenge again this year! Be sure to check out the other great series being posted by all of my fellow-bloggers here!



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