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Embracing a New Outlook for Fall

By Beverly Bowers October 01, 2023 Mindset

Fall is here, and I admit that I have mixed feelings about its arrival. 

Many people say fall is their favorite season and why not? The days cool down, the trees change colors, the air feels crisp and sometimes carries the aroma of burning leaves. Of course, where I live in Arizona, I need to drive for a couple of hours to see the changing leaf colors. A small price to pay.

A hike in the woods brings back memories of growing up in Iowa and the distinct autumn smell of the woods. The woodland creatures are busy storing food for the winter. Geese fly south overhead, and I get the urge to buy a new sweater.

Happy Memories of Fall

I love the sights and smells of fall plus my favorite sport – football – finally arrives. I have so many happy memories wrapped around high school football and the marching band. There were nights so cold that I wore two layers of clothes under my band uniform and still froze. My fingers could barely find the keys of my piccolo. They were so cold. I attended every home football game in college and was a season ticket holder for the Arizona Cardinals for a few years. Now I just watch TV. Not quite the same – and I miss the bands!!!

But Winter Follows

Despite the beauty and happy memories, I feel melancholy in the fall. I am sad and almost dread the shortening of days. Why? The only explanation that makes sense to me is that fall means that winter is not far away. I could understand if I still lived in snow country, but I live in the Valley of the Sun and have for over 30 years.

Winter is the best time in my part of the world! You would think that my feelings about fall would have changed years ago, but no. I still feel sadness and almost dread as fall approaches. As an adult, I understand my feelings and can consciously change my attitude.

Feelings Are Complicated

My parents died when I was in my 30s. They are buried in Iowa, and I live in Arizona, so I do not have the opportunity to visit their graves often. On one of my rare visits to Iowa, I decided to make a side trip to the town in which they are buried. The day was gloomy, cold, and a misty rain started falling as I searched the cemetery. I eventually found their spot, grabbed my umbrella, and stood by their graves to pay my respects.

At first, I was sad, then I felt a warmth envelope me, and I started to smile! Why the change? As I analyzed my feelings, I remembered a scolding I got from my parents when I was in second or third grade.

They were very unhappy and disappointed with my behavior, and I carried that feeling with me as I grew up. I realized as I stood by their graves, that they were not unhappy and, in fact, were proud of me and my accomplishments. I carried the feeling of their disappointment for years and it was time to let it go.

Time to Let Go

That makes me wonder about other feelings I may be holding onto from my youth. Do I have prejudices or negative perceptions about people or places or events that I have outgrown or need to leave in the past because they don’t make sense anymore? It is a choice each of us must make.

Perhaps fall is a good time to undertake a house cleaning of a different type. It would certainly make the holidays lighter and brighter!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What outdated beliefs or feelings do you hold, or have you held? How did you discover them? Do you have suggestions to help others overcome outdated beliefs? Have you been successful in changing your mindset? What do you love most about fall? What don’t you love about it?

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I, too, live in a part of the world where the seasons are pretty much the same, Southern California. I’ve always lived here so the lack of seasons doesn’t faze me. Still, I prefer the longer days of summer and autumn reminds me the days are short and getting shorter. And even here in So Cal, winter is relatively cold compared to long lazy summer days. I suppose we all have things from our past that haunt us. But knowing what they are saps them of some of their power. At least for me.


Autumn. So lovely. My favorite season. I was born in Indian summer, 63 years ago, my birthday having just passed, Sept 20. Being born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. my siblings and I experienced every season to it’s fullest. Having lived in AZ for the last 24 years, I feel, more with each year, a sense of dying, like a fish out of water, especially in the Autumn, missing the leaves of many colors, the crisp breezes weaving through the branches, embracing my face as I look up, with a newfound sense of life, renewing itself.
An Autumn Virgo, I too am renewed…just for a while.


I keep motivating myself to live in the now and enjoy fall. The highlight of this season is Thanksgiving Holiday that I cherish.


I was bullied in school for three years between the ages of 11 to 14 and at 58 I still carry that old pain about!


I also love fall yet I dread the coming of winter. I wonder if it’s because I have lost so many people in my life, as I am well past 60. I think about them in the spring and the summer too, but something about winter makes me think of endings. The short days, getting dark so early is hard.

The Author

Beverly Bowers is a retired financial planner who has been solely responsible for her financial life over 25 years. Her passion is to make investments understandable – dispel the mystery and simplify the process. In 2021 she self-published a book, How to Dress a Naked Portfolio, a Tailored Introduction to Investing for Women. She relishes questions from all levels of investors. You may submit questions and sign up for her blogs on her website.

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