The Ides of October

The Ides of October

The month is halfway over. If you have been using this time to fret over Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s… STOP. Enjoy this time for its own sake. The rest of the year will fly by. Once we are firmly in the dead of winter and craving Vitamin D from the sun, you’ll be glad you celebrated October.

Key topics:

✔️ Autumn is its own season for a reason. Enjoy it and stop trying to rush headlong into who’s gonna go where for Thanksgiving or Christmas. You’ll have plenty of time to deal with that in the coming weeks.
✔️ Engage all five of your senses in the season.
✔️ As the old-timers say, “Don’t wish your life away.” If you have a job that makes you hate your life Monday through Friday, find a different line of work.
✔️ Special lead-in music “Early Autumn” by The Four Freshmen. Special outro music “A Sort of Homecoming” by U2.

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Transcription by

Hello Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Causey Consulting Podcast. I’m your host Sara Causey and I’m also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime at Today’s lead-in music comes from the Four Freshmen and their rendition of “Early Autumn.” As you might imagine, that does have a little something to do with your homework for this week. But first things first. It’s October, the 15th of this month is halfway over with. Autumn is my favorite season and I think unfortunately, sometimes this part of the fall, this part of October gets overshadowed by Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s people sort of gloss over the fact that there’s an entire month here prior to Halloween, and we should really enjoy it. It’s like how the old timers say “don’t wish your life away.” You know, you get to work on Monday and you’re like, “oh God, is it Friday, yet?” Some old man will always say, “Oh, don’t wish your life away.” When I was in my 20s I used to hate it when people would say that to me. I’m like, “dude, I’m just living for the weekend.” But now that I’m a bit older, I’m like, Yeah, no kidding. You need to be able to enjoy times other than the weekend. If you’re stuck in a job that you hate so much that you just literally want to hibernate until Friday at 5pm, find another line of work. So if you’ve already started thinking about who’s going where for Thanksgiving, and who’s gonna buy the holiday gifts, and who’s gonna do all the cooking– Well, if Cousin Billy stays with us, remember he still wets the bed so we need to buy rubber sheets, and who’s gonna sit next to your crazy uncle at Thanksgiving because he always shows up half drunk and makes inappropriate comments. Oh, and I don’t want to sit next to your sister because we have different politics. And I just know I’m going to get mad when she says something– If you’re already thinking about that stuff, quit it. I promise you, you can enjoy the month of October for itself without worrying about the holidays. There will be plenty of time for doing that later. You have the month of November to start thinking about Thanksgiving, and you have the month of December to worry about Christmas and New Year’s. But for now, don’t wish your life away. Don’t rush yourself into the coming holidays. In the wintertime, and I mean really in the dead of winter, when it doesn’t really get light outside until about 8 and it starts to get dark at 5, you’ll be glad that you took this time to enjoy the month of October. Your homework for this week is to engage all five of your senses in this time of the year. Get on a platform like YouTube, Pandora or Spotify, and make yourself an autumnal music playlist. As you might imagine, the Four Freshmen’s version of “Early Autumn” is on mine. It’s a great song and it has a lot of awesome imagery in it. But I also love the song “A Sort of Homecoming” by U2. I’m a big fan of early 80s U2– I’m talking pre Joshua Tree, the early stuff like Boy, October, War, The Unforgettable Fire. And “A Sort of Homecoming” comes from the album The Unforgettable Fire and I want to read a few lyrics to you. Now naturally, when you hear this, you’ll know it’s the the imagery itself is highly evocative of the fall and winter months, which is obviously one reason why I enjoy listening to it this time of the year. So here we go. And you know, it’s time to go through the sleet and driving snow across the fields of mourning, light in the distance, and you hunger for the time, time to heal, desire time, and your Earth moves beneath your own dream landscape. I love the choice of words there. Not the Earth moves, but YOUR EARTH moves beneath YOUR OWN dream landscape. That’s really true. If you’ve been using the journaling homework from last week, hopefully you’re beginning to see that bear out in your own life. As you’re sitting there writing and meditating and thinking about deliberate creation, what you want your future to be like, what you want your life today to look like, you should be seeing that yes, in fact, your earth does move beneath your own dream landscape.

Another passage: 

the city walls are all come down, the dust a smoke screen all around. See faces plowed like fields that once gave no resistance. And we live by the side of the road, on the side of the hill as the valley explodes. Dislocated and suffocated, the land grows weary of its own. I love that image. As we start to watch the transition from fall into winter, you really see that. Being out here on a farm and being so closely connected to nature. I love that idea: the land grows weary of its own. It’s so true, isn’t it? After the trees produce these beautiful colors of red, gold, and orange, the leaves fall off, the trees go bare, all of the green grass goes away, it dies off, it turns brown, and then it just vanishes. The animals have to eat hay, you have to prepare for the winter months because they’re not going to have access to grass to graze on outside. And as you look at this landscape of dead brown grass, and baren trees, all the parts of the earth that are normally obscured by the forest, because all of the leaves are thick and lush… now suddenly, you can see out further and it’s like, yeah, the land has grown weary of its own. Nature itself has died off for a season.

And the final passage I’ll read: 

the wind will crack in wintertime. This bomb blast lightning waltz. No spoken words, just a scream… This image of a bomb blast lightning waltz reminds me so much of a storm from I’m going to say it was either late November or early December of my freshman year in college. I had already gone to bed, it was late. I turned all the lights off. I’d gotten under the blankets, I was comfortable. And I started to see these flashes of light outside the window. And my first thought was, maybe it’s a car turning around on the road and the lights that I’m seeing are perhaps the headlights coming in through the window, maybe there is somebody out there on foot, and it’s a flashlight. So that was my immediate thought. And then suddenly I heard this ripple of thunder and I thought, oh God! When you live in Oklahoma, the idea of a tornado or a violent thunderstorm is never really that far from your mind. And I thought, “Oh my God! this is the wrong time of year for a thunderstorm. This is going to be bad.” So I pulled the shade up and I looked outside and I could see the lightning going across the sky and you could hear it crack. You could hear the crack of the lightning and then the booms, the bombs of the thunder going off with his violent electrical storm. I’m like, “oh God, oh my God, please don’t let this be a tornado.” So I was getting the lights turned back on, getting the TV on to see if any of the meteorologists were on saying that you probably should take cover because we’re having a sudden autumnal tornado. Again, these things are never far from your mind when you live in Oklahoma. In the midst of this thunderstorm, the temperature drops significantly.

Now I will never forget this: 

the rain that had been just falling in sheets started to slowly turn to sleet and snow and it became thundersnow and it dropped a massive amount of snow. I when I finally found out okay, it’s not a tornado, it’s just going to be a very peculiar winter storm, I fell asleep. And when I woke up the next morning, there was just snow, just beautiful, brilliantly white snow everywhere. It’s just blanketing everything that you could see. The college called off because there were so many people that commuted rather than living on campus. They didn’t want people trying to drive because the roads were of course impacted and very difficult, if not impossible in some places to get through. But when I hear that lyric, “this bomb blast lightning waltz,” I’m immediately taken back many years ago to that freshman year of college and experiencing that storm and how the lightning cracked across the sky and the way that the weather changed so suddenly. Music can be highly evocative to a place that we were, something that we experienced. So don’t neglect your sense of sound. Get on YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, make a playlist, something that you can listen to while you’re cleaning the house or cooking in the kitchen and really celebrate this time of the year. And speaking of cooking, that’s something else that I want to encourage you to do. There are so many beautiful recipes this time of year that involve seasonal produce. It’s a great time for things like apples, pumpkin, spices, wintertime squashes, some cider, homemade cider, mulled wine, corn, nuts and seeds, and also fermented foods, it’s a great time to bring in things from your harvest. And if you like to make pickles or sauerkraut or you want to can your fruits and vegetables or make jams and jellies out of them so that they last through the winter, it’s an excellent time of the year to do that type of activity. One of the great things about cooking is it engages all five of your senses. It’s a wonderful way to spend time with your loved ones or it’s a great solitary activity to it puts you in connection with yourself, your own tastes, the things that you enjoy. And it can also be a wonderful expression of love and care for the people around you. If you enjoy arts and crafts types of project, your sense of touch is definitely engaged by different textural feelings. It’s a great time to knit sweaters, scarves, blankets, socks, I have a sock loom that I need to learn how to use. I have the right kind of yarn, and I have a tutorial, it’s just a matter of sitting down and actually learning how to do it and doing the work. So I’m excited about that. Now the first pair of socks that I make with this thing may look janky as hell but I’m still going to try it because I enjoy the challenge. And there’s just something really special about knowing that something you have is a good that you made with your own two hands. You may know this already, but the sense most closely tied to memory is your sense of smell. Most of your memories are stored in the hippocampus of your brain and for whatever reason, your sense of smell is the one that can trigger vivid memories the fastest. If you think back to someone’s perfume, or a particular cleaner– I remember this is a funny the funny memory, a funny analogy to use about your sense of smell– When I was visiting Charleston, South Carolina, and I had gone into a public restroom and the janitor had been using Pine Sol and when I opened the door of the ladies room the smell of Pine Sol was like a wall of Pine Sol. It was like somebody had put every evergreen tree in the whole world in this small ladies restroom. But I swear I can remember the smell of that. I’m sure I had a strange expression on my face and the janitor was like, “Oh!” I started to sneeze. I remember that too. She was like, “Oh is all of this Pine Sol botheirng you?” That was like, “Oh, it’s okay.” But you remember these things. That’s like if you’ve ever been in a hospital, there’s that very like distinct bleachy antiseptic smell of being in a hospital or a medical clinic. Our sense of smell can recall all these memories to us. And I love making like mulling spices even if I don’t put them in wine or apple cider. If you get a pot of water and you put the the mulling spices in it and you boil that pot of water, it makes the whole house smell so good. And you can buy them pre-packaged or you can make your own with things like cinnamon, cloves, allspice, orange zest, cardamom, anise, etc. And it just makes the house smell so good. Or if you’ve ever come in from outside after someone has baked sugar cookies, the whole house smells so good and it smells so homey and comforting. So I really want to encourage you, as you’re cleaning the house or you’re cooking, there’s so many different ways that you can spruce up the whole house with these this beautiful bouquet of autumnal scents. You can always take a few drops of essential oil and add them to your cleaning products. I’ve done that with clove oil before I absolutely love the scent and the taste of cloves. Any excuse I can get to add it to a baking recipe I always do. So I put some clove oil in with some of my cleaners and it just makes the house– any place that I use the cleaner to wipe off a countertop– it makes that room smell so good and so pleasant to me. So as you are making your playlist, as you’re cooking, doing arts and crafts projects, also just put a little kettle of tea on or put some mulling spices on the stove and really enjoy this part of October. It goes by so fast. You want to make sure that you just drink in every potential opportunity to enjoy it. If you’re living in an area where it’s pleasant to be outside, maybe you finally got some sweater weather and you can be outdoors without immediately schvitzing and turning into his giant sweat ball, enjoy it. Go outside for a bike ride, go out to a nature trail, look at the leaves as they change colors, and just really enjoy this time of October. It goes by so fast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it. If you haven’t already, take a quick second to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review for us on iTunes. Bye for now.

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