The Fall Routine of Change

September has struck. Which means cooler temperatures, getting back into routines, and some new seasonal outdoor activities. While the “back to school” feeling that September brings doesn’t necessarily relate to Athabasca University students it still can bring a sense of calm. Everyone else around is getting back into schedules with their kids off to school or with your own kids heading back to school which grants you a bit more time to concentrate on your own studies.

Fall has always been a favourite season of mine. Maybe because I’ve been the type who enjoyed school. Now it brings a sense of calm; I’m not going back to school but those around me are settling in. The hurry up and enjoy summer while it lasts strain is passing and I can finally dig those hoodies out of the closet.

The calm that comes with fall, the routine and rhythm, is also joined with change. Sometimes it is something small, like starting a new grade but with your same classmates. Other times it might be bigger, like moving away to start at university. For us, this fall has brought an unexpected change and challenges we did not see coming, they are exciting and stressful.

After deciding earlier that we would stay in our current house, we have now jumped into the real estate game. These things always seem to happen after you’ve made up your mind to stay on your current path. This has pushed us into mortgage rates, life insurance rates, listing our place—and that means decluttering all that stuff we stopped noticing and keeping the place clean so a walk through can happen within a few hours if need be. And we still have to get all our regular day-to-day tasks done.

One thing that has been a great positive about this is that it has forced me to keep on top of the small things (loading the dishwasher immediately) and also forced me into some of those spring cleaning things that were successfully ignored for the last couple springs. It also, to our great amusement, meant we needed to get a light put on the outside of our back door. Something we talked about doing for years. Six years. We had to do it as part of the electrical inspection. It took them half an hour. So, after years of stumbling through the backyard, in the dark, and usually through the snow and ice, for more years than I like to admit, we now have light.

Even if it all falls through it at least pushed us to do some things that we had been putting off. It also taught us a lot about banks and their mentality, as well as rates, loans, and insurance. We’ve learned to double check every number, to do our own research, and to double check everything. A big contributor to said research was sending documents and running numbers by my dad, who is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to these things.

It is so easy to get swept up in a pitch. It might sound like a great idea, like the life and disability insurance. By the end, the sales guy had successfully made me think “how have we lived without this for so long?” but, remember, it is their job to make you feel like that. Everyone’s situation is different, so always take the information and sleep on it. Ask around for other people’s experiences, and never sign the first one. You might go back to it, but look around.

So while this fall has carried with it some high strung nerves and anxieties, it has also brought excitement and renewal. Spring may seem like the obvious choice for a season to symbolize rejuvenation, but for me, it has always been fall.

At this moment, the sun is shining and it is a torrential downpour. Which means the best of both worlds, I can enjoy the look of the sun but not feel like I need to run out and enjoy it this moment. The best of fall all bundled into one.

The thing I love about fall beyond the sweaters and schedules is it always seems to bring with it change. It starts young with those first steps onto school grounds, then new grades, new friends, new experiences. When you graduate you move onto a new job, a new town, a new school, perhaps. This fall is proving again to bring about change, even though we didn’t expect it.

Deanna Roney is an AU graduate who loves adventure in life and literature. Follow her path on the writing journey at

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