November typically offer a sweet, much-needed lull in the constant hubbub that is life. The month is for jumping in freshly raked leaf piles, collecting rocks along the deserted beaches, taking foggy morning walks around the neighborhood. It's for lazy drives through the dazzling countryside and planting flower bulbs in the garden.
It's all much more pleasant when the weather is above freezing, yes, but it is too early to hibernate for the winter.
Instead of hiding in the living room under seven layers of blankets and missing out on all the beauty of this most serene season, read on for a few easy tips to help you tackle the frigid fall wonderland.
Bust out the gear
If you live in Michigan, you know that layers are essential. It's way easier to have a good time if you're fingers are not getting frostbitten, so grab those gloves, hats, scarves, boots, jackets, the works, and bundle up. We're all sad we didn't get to wear our cute little trench coats, but now is not the time for cute. It's the time for not freezing to death.
Bargain with yourself
If you head out the door knowing that you will be treated to a steaming mug (ew, that's not a nice phrase) of cider or a latte afterward, that might just be the only incentive you need to get moving. Skip the laundry, order a pizza, park the kids in front of the TV when you get home. You deserve it.
Think of bedtime
Certainly we are all aware that our kids sleep better after they've worn themselves silly playing outside. Keep 'em outdoors for an hour after school and enjoy yourself an easier bedtime. That is called winning, my friends.
Go somewhere new
I've still got like 5,000 places that I'm dying to check out. (I just realized that sounds like the name of that famous travel book.) Maybe there's a park down the road from school, a mysterious old landmark, a nature preserve that you would never go to when it's a million degrees and the mosquitos are ripe. Seize the day. Bonus: the gloomy November skies make for very dramatic photo backgrounds.
Play a game
Start a game of tag and you'll definitely stay warm. You'll probably have a ridiculously good time too. I always forget how much fun I have playing tag even now until I'm shrieking with laughter and dodging with the best of them. Hide and seek, king of the mountain and red light green light are just a few other options.
Remember what's coming
Seriously, there will be a time -- probably in late January or early February, which are looming around the corner -- when it is painful to even think about going outside. You don't have to do it then. Just use that mental image to realize that it's not so bad now.
This. This is what's coming.
Confession: This pep talk was basically for myself because I feel like we got cheated out of some of my favorite moments. Hopefully this will help me -- and anyone else feeling irked at Mother Nature's lack of common courtesy -- to get over it, because there are a whole lot of leaves to be raked and empty beaches to be combed.