Here in California, the leaves have just turned color and we have just experienced our first cold spell (the California definition of cold being 50 degrees Fahrenheit or lower). Gone for now are the warm 80 degree days of summer. A few months ago, many Americans were spending a lot of their time outdoors wearing short sleeves and shorts. Now, especially for those in the northern states, it's impossible to go outside without at least 3 layers of clothes not freeze to death. Although California's winters are much more mild compared to other parts of the country, this transition to winter has forced me to make some changes to my routine.
During the summer, I really enjoy walking around the lake in our town and seeing all the small electric boats cruising the waterway. Because it now gets dark before 6 o'clock in the evening, I am no longer able to do that and have had to switch to walking on a treadmill for exercise. According to the National Autistic Society of the UK, repetitive behavior and routines can be a way for people with autism to cope with every day life (1). Routines do make daily life easier and small alterations can be difficult to adjust to. I have found the best way to cope with these changes is by adapting to them and looking at the positives of these new circumstances.
While I may be able to walk around the lake in the evening after work any more or go swimming, there are many things I am looking forward to this winter. My birthday is coming up in this week and I am looking forward to celebrating it with my family. I also hope to go to Santa Barbara to celebrate it with my friends up there as well. Shortly after my birthday, I will be celebrating Christmas and New Year, one of my favorite times of the year. While I may not be able to do all the things I get to do during the summer, there is so much I appreciate about winter, especially the holidays. I wish everybody out there a very Happy Holiday Season.