An ode to October, the most gorgeous month

From the pages of In Business magazine.

Every year at this time, I vow to enjoy the month of October and not let those beautiful, cool, and crisp 31 days pass me by, and every year I allow myself to be buried inside with work and not take full advantage of the colorful splendor this month offers. This time, it will be different.

Not just because of the natural paintings offered by the golden sugar maples, the ruddy scarlet oaks, or any of the fall colors, but because it’s an opportunity to stock up for the winter. In this case, I’m stocking up on good moods, because if this winter is anything like the last one — and the Farmer’s Almanac says that’s a distinct possibility — I’ll need to build a good-mood reservoir to avoid driving myself, my co-workers, and my family crazy.

Combine Wisconsin’s fall colors with Badger Saturdays, Packer Sundays, and those amazingly tart apples that (drats!) only come this time of year, and that’s all I need to be in heaven. I often joke to friends that every time I watch a Cary Grant movie where he’s the romantic lead, expertly tailored and looking like a million bucks, it makes me want to be a non-slob for at least 24 hours (before reverting back to my unfortunate form). Similarly, when I enjoy those apples, at least I’m eating right for one month out of the year.

So this month, I’m determined to get up early, do a 30-minute walk, and take it all in — even if that means getting to work a little bit later. I’ll adopt somewhat modified banker’s hours — 9 to 6 — and work a little bit in the evening if that’s what it takes to enjoy the daylight and ward off the depressing thought of another menacing polar vortex.

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I don’t even mind raking those colorful leaves on Saturdays because it means I’m outside in a place and time, Wisconsin in October, that I would choose over sunny Southern California, picturesque Palm Beach, or beautiful Bermuda. Hey, we can escape to those places any (other) time.

It hasn’t exactly been a great year for the grins, so if I’m getting to work a little bit later, and if I’m outside and gone a little bit longer during the noon hour, I hope that I’m forgiven. If I don’t fail to follow the foliage, it will help me be a better husband, father, and employee.

For the sake of work-life balance, I hope you can do the same.

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