The other morning I was walking Arlo. The air was crisp and the sunlight just barely kissed my cheeks with warmth.

The leaves are well into their autumnal shapeshifting – golden yellows, fiery reds, and sunset oranges decorating the neighborhood with their splashes of color.

It’s one of my favorite times of year.

Because for me, it’s the time of year I like to re-listen to Harry Potter!!!

(The version narrated by Jim Dale. And no, I have not listened to Stephen Fry’s out of sheer principle!)

My guiltiest pleasures, hands down, are science fiction, fantasy, and space fantasy sagas.

I love immersing myself in someone else’s creativity and being transported into an entire universe that exists only because the author dared to indulge their imagination.

I grew up with Harry Potter. The first book came out when I was 10 and Harry was turning 11.

In Mrs. Freeman’s 5th grade class during reading time, I would sit in the reading corner with my friend Lauren and read over her shoulder. Checking in with each other to make sure we’d both read it all before turning the next page!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the last birthday present my mom gave me before she died.

Each year, as a new book came out, I was within one year of Harry’s age.

As he came of age and struggled with friendships, crushes, school, and becoming an adult in a bigger world, I did too.

Summer after junior year, my adoptive mom held Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hostage until I’d finished my college essays.

Each time I revisit the story I am struck anew with JK Rowling’s enchanting world, so rich with wonder and whimsy.

I would say that I get goosebumps and misty eyes more often now than I did on my first adventure through the wizarding world.

Nerd Alert: I have an entire Etsy wishlist dedicated to artisan crafted potions, baby mandrakes, magical textbooks, and decorations for the Annual Harry Potter Holiday Party I want to throw when I finally have a home to host gatherings of loved ones in!

It brings me such unadulterated enjoyment, and after the last couple years we’ve had, so many of us need unadulterated joy.

We need to do things that nourish our hearts and our souls and maybe most importantly, our inner children… that are not about growth or optimization or healing old wounds or always stretching outside our comfort zones… but that are simply about the enjoyment of life.

So whether it’s pumpkin carving, taking yourself on a date to the new Dune movie, putting your Christmas tree up inappropriately early (who me?!), immersing yourself in a craft project, or giving yourself permission to finally take that acting class or that comedy writing workshop because a creative part of you whispers longingly that it wants to play more… create more…

It’s time to remember how preciously short life is and how wonderful we can make our time here if we dare to indulge our childlike wonder.

(Also, this kind of self-nourishing is what will help keep your tank full to fight the good fights. The fights for justice, planet saving, the healing of hearts, and so on!)

And with that, I would like to finish off with just a few words.

Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!


P.S. Let me take a minute to be a total snob/nerd about genres real quick!

Science fiction: like Star Trek or Artemis – based on actually science and playing out how this might inform the evolution of technology, society, etc.

Fantasy: Harry Potter, The Kingkiller Chronicles, and Lord of the Rings – magical worlds with magical beings

Space Fantasy: like Star Wars, Red Rising, and Dune, not based on science but are wonderfully fantastical and take place in a space.