Ever feel lucky to be alive? Every Autumn I feel the warmth cascade into me from the colours, scents and sounds of my favourite season. Though this blog post may not be directly linked to bookkeeping or payroll, it is a direct consequence of living to work, rather than working to live. I'm always humbled by this season, the awsome reminder of life cycles, the beauty of aging, growing, changing and preparing for whats to come. 
No sooner than the first day back of school, my brain automatically kicks in to thoughts of halloween, pumpkins, hot drinks on cold days, curling up under blankets and long walks through woods with golden canopys and orange carpets of leaves. 
Of course, the reality is endless 'To Do' lists, snotty noses, muddy dogs and an awful lot of grey, wet days. But it's the days inbetween, when we do catch a glimpse of just how beautiful our country is. Just how lucky we are to live where we do, to have the opportunities we do. A job to moan about for example, for some, would be a dream come true. The seemingly never ending rainy days, would be heavenly in a place where droughts provide no food for their inhabitants.  
I think I feel at my best in Autumn because it always makes me reflect on how far I have come on my own journey. Small sacrifices made way to greater opportunities and I am so greatful for that. It makes me want to be with my loved ones and share in new memory making moments. It naturally slows me down and starts to ready me for hybernation. A time to think, be still, reflect and learn from the past year and look forward and create ideals for the next.  
How then, with work and family life refusing to acknowledge this time of year, do we get to slow down and snuggle up? Our working hours are ever increasing and as the bills and cost of living rises continually, we feel the pressure to work harder, faster and more. We know that keeping up the pace with our colleagues or competitors is vital to ensuring our job security, we know our children are pushed harder at an earlier age with higher expectations on parents to provide educationally as well as parentally. Not to mention keeping up appearances, being sociable, spending quality time with family, being involved in school fundraisers and ensuring our children are imersed in clubs outside of school.  
So many of us feel so overwhelmed that when we do get to have some down time, we either feel guilty about not doing something productive, or we don't fully enjoy our time as we would rather be curled up asleep rater than forcing ourselves to be out and about. I think the truth is that Work life balance isn't ever an actual balance. (Except maybe for a small, elite percentage of the worlds population) work life balance is actually just a constant attempt to not feel overwhelmed or feel like you haven't done enough.  
As the leaves fall around us, counting us down to shorter winter days. I make a concerted effort to cut things out of my 'To Do' list and focus on doing as little as possible outside of what has to be done. We can make do in some areas rather than excel, we can put things off or not do them at all. The pressure to be "on top" of everything is, in theory, a great work ethic but it is not a healthy life choice. Our mind needs breathing space and we need to find ways to create it, so we can truely appreciate it when it happens. Doing nothing can really be an inspiring moment when you actually get to enjoy it and Autumn is my favourite time to have my "nothing" days. 
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