Today’s Sunday Story was inspired by a beautiful fall day (my favorite time for new beginnings) and a book, The Four Agreements, which was gifted to me. I consider this book a precious keepsake from my friend and refer back to it often. Read on, and I’ll tell you all about it, darlings!
EMBRACING THE CHANGES OF FALL AND DELIGHTING IN FUTURE PLANS
On a park bench in the charming little park across the street from our condominium I recently sat with our pooch, America. The park has a cobbled path leading to another lane that is a popular walk-through. America and I sat watching my fellow Americans; some with their children and some walking their pets. Some arm in arm, some with caregivers, and some racing alone through the park to visit shops in the area.
I smiled, got up with America, and entered a lovely private area of the park, found a bench for the two of us, grateful for some peace and quiet. I love the quiet of the day. It is a wonderful time to soak in joy and reflect on change, like incorporating The Four Agreements, but more on that later…
The falling leaves impact me as I think of the changing season. As summer slides into fall, it is common for women to look forward to revamping wardrobes, organizing closets, remodeling a room, restyling hair. Other types of new beginnings, too, like relocating to a new community, or reinventing themselves and growing into new friendships. And, of course, looking forward to the approaching holidays and travel. In other words, darlings, fall is an uplifting and driven time of each year.
I sit in the park with my ‘other Romeo’ daydreaming, for starters, on travel plans we made in September. October to New York to see a grandchild, and friends and enjoy Broadway and wonderful eateries. November starts the holidays. Thanksgiving with all the Good family in Idaho. December is still in question. In January we are planning to stay with America on Fisher Island, Florida, for a month to get our ‘feet wet’ so to speak. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
We are in talks with close friends and our travel agent on planning a trip to Egypt and Israel in March. Next September is already on the calendar. My first Honey Good group trip (read the announcement here)! We are traveling with women, solo, or with hubbies, or significant others, or with their best girlfriends to the USA National Parks. My goal is to eventually travel with my Honey Good group to all the continents. I can’t tell you how excited I am to travel with my readers and meet them in person. What a blessing!
HOW TWO BOOKS TRANSFORMED MY LIFE
Today, I can’t help but think serendipity was at play. Two books that I read years apart sparked my enchantment with fall and change. First I thought of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and that brought on thoughts of The Four Agreements.
I continue with my thoughts …
Fall is the time of year to ‘get organized. Naturally, a woman’s wardrobe is on her mind. During the pandemic, instead of shopping I spent time organizing closets. This proved to be a smart move in more ways than one.
Not only did I build organized closets but, to my great surprise, the more organized my closet became the more I discovered a wealth of items I had forgotten I owned! And, I love them. My mother taught me to buy style, never fashion and that a woman’s style is her biography. I recall looking over my wardrobe as I looked up to the sky and saying out loud, “Thank you, Mom. I love you.”
I have Marie Kondo to thank for teaching me organization skills (read my take on the Marie Kondo organization method, here!). I read her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (and I now recommend this to everyone I meet!). Her book taught me how to declutter. Much to my happiness and dismay, I was surprised by my ‘finds’ and more surprised that items over 30 years old were still in style and fit!
So as I sat on this gorgeous fall day in the park with my ‘other Romeo,’ America, I want to share with you the gaps I found in my wardrobe; gaps I would not have found if I had not followed Marie Kondo’s advice on the importance of having an organized closet. The organization of my possessions made shopping much easier and wiser.
AN ORGANIZED CLOSET LED TO AN ORGANIZED MIND
After that, I began to add to my wardrobe, starting with a black leather dress. Also, ‘that little black dress’ that will take me anywhere. It is round-necked, straight, long-sleeved with zippers, and in a fabric for all seasons. I added two basic suits ( I have too many separates) and a cocktail dress with a big slit up one side and an interesting neckline in a year-round fabric. Lastly, I bought a new handbag and a new pair of loafers.
Here’s the moral of the closet story: I was able, after learning how to become organized, to analyze what I really needed. This was emotionally fulfilling and I was happy that I spent my money wisely.
The organization of my material possessions, my papers, and my kitchen cabinets was surreal because the end result was something I did not ask for — an organized mind! A calm comes over me every time I open my closet, file cabinets, and cabinets. Viewing organized items creates a clear mind.
If you need a big project to sink your teeth into this fall, buy Marie Kondo’s book and learn how to tidy up!
NOSTALGIC FOR SUMMER
As I soaked up this moment in the park, I noted that in a few short weeks, the leaves will turn a flaming color of gold. Women dressed in their fall clothing in palettes of rustic colors will match the autumn leaves. I am not an autumn-type woman. No, I will miss the leaves on the trees, the green grass, and the colorful inpatients. I will miss the Farmer’s Market each Tuesday and dinner along Lake Michigan at the Chicago Yacht Club. Lastly, I will miss the bright early morning sunrise and the late sunsets of summer. Above all, I rejoice in the quiet of the morning and evening.
DOWNSHIFTING WITH JOY
Though I long for summer, I am not one to wallow or pine. So, I decided to seek joy and I asked myself what I could find to love about fall.
What I do enjoy about ‘this’ fall is the thought of downshifting. This is a time of the year to take things more slowly; and be more concerned about the few things that make one’s heart sing. I don’t want to be shackled to a set of standards of others and be constantly busy with stuff. I have the desire to create boundaries. This has nothing to do with age. It has to do with wisdom.
Without a doubt, my life will be fuller, more interesting, and more worthwhile if I spend my time on authentic projects, authentic groups, and men and women who project authenticity. I say this with a more organized mind, darling! I am thinking clearly. Thank you, Marie! How do you feel about my thoughts?
I don’t know why, but my thoughts shift to a book I have in our library. Isn’t the mind amazing? It was given to me by a friend and I consider it a keepsake. The Four Agreements, and I want to share its lessons.
WHAT ARE THE FOUR AGREEMENTS?
Here is a summary of what the book teaches and my take on it. I highly recommend that you read it yourselves, darlings!
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
Agreement #1 Be impeccable with your word
Be true to yourself and say only what you mean. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love for all those in your life.
Agreement #2 Don’t take anything personally
Nothing others do to you is because of you. What others say and do to you is because of their own reality. When you become immune to their actions, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Agreement #3 Don’t make assumptions
Communicate with friends, family, and co-workers as clearly as you are able in order to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and of course, darlings, drama.
Agreement #4 Always do your best
Do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Thousands of years ago in Mexico there was a group of people of knowledge, called Toltec. They were scientists and artists who came together. This book is their story told by the author who is a Toltec.
MY WISH FOR YOU
To all of you, I wish you a happy, organized, and authentic fall.
May you have calm waters, heightened interests, and love around you. Fall is the time of the year to think about your renewal, reinvigoration, and revitalization. If you are not organized become organized and most importantly be authentic to your desires.
Leaving the park to put my thoughts on paper. I am smiling.
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