As we head toward winter and get ourselves ready for the holidays, I find myself pausing to reflect on how fantastic fall has been: the colors, the temperate weather and the slow darkening of our days. It's been lovely. That said, springtime has a similar draw. Flowers begin to bloom, days brighten and there's an energy that simply cannot be matched throughout the rest of the year.
If we get right down to it, shoulder seasons -- if we define them as those few delectable months tucked on each side of long, cold winters and blistering summer days -- really are the best seasons.
They're a great time to travel.
Shoulder seasons have been a well-known treasure in the travel industry for many, many years. Shoulder season travel costs tend to be lower, you can often avoid peak-season crowds and most places/activities are still open for business.
They offer a chance to catch up with friends and family.
If I map out the year in quarters, I can easily attest to busy summers and downright hectic winters in my world. It always seems like spring and fall are perfect for getting together with that former co-worker I haven't seen in months or making plans to finally get the whole family together for a nice meal.
They're the best time to go outside and explore.
The weather is just about perfect during the shoulder seasons. There is no better time to head out for a walk, hike, jog or bike ride. Period.
They give us time to reassess personal and professional goals and accomplishments.
I don't know about you, but I'm always thankful for time to catch my breath -- especially during the autumn months. As we come down from the buzz of jam-packed summer schedules and gear up for the holiday rush, it's nice knowing that we have a little time to look back at where we've been and take advantage of upcoming opportunities.
They can be the perfect time to get your house in order.
Just like assessing personal and professional benchmarks, making sure your living space is up to snuff can be a lifesaver. I find that purging unnecessary items from our closets, cupboards and cabinets can make it easier to find just what we need, right when we need it. It wouldn't matter if we lived on a farm, in a studio apartment in the city or traveled full-time in a tricked out van, getting our house in order truly helps maintain a level of sanity during the busier seasons.
So, tell me: are you a fan of shoulder seasons? What are your favorite tips to make the most of those short snippets of time?