End of Summer

With younger kids, the summer is primarily bookended with school. This week, the kids are going back for their next year. That comes with a slew of other activities and a tonal shift for all the family activities. Looking back though, it’s been quite an interesting one.

First the elephant. This was the most “normal” summer we’ve had since 2019. COVID is absolutely still a thing, and plenty of friends have been hit, but the impacts are a fraction of prior. We’ll hit another big wave with schools opening, but with luck, we should finally be in the endemic phase. Huge impact – people are joyous to be out and about.

As a Canadian, particular one in my neck of the woods, we often talk about the weather. There are few locations on the globe that truly have 4 seasons – with a typical 60C swing between, up to 80C if it’s really bonkers. This summer was oddly calm, with a stable sunny stretch without too much to harp about. We only had a week of heatwave, and aside from the last week, next to no rain. A spectacular summer in that regard.

I found some “balance” in the working from home and driving around this year. Past years I’ve tried to work remotely, and that didn’t really work out. I’ve come to terms that I need a separation between work and personal. Working from a cottage is borderline depressive when everyone else is having fun but you. Finding a dedicated working space though, I’ll be seeing if I can sort something like that out in the future.

Summer financials were wild. Gas hit insane price points (more than double for a while) which was crazy to absorb. I had a rather expensive repair that came out of nowhere to manage. We’re through it and things are getting closer to normal, but holy heck.

I did skip playing hockey for most of the summer. I picked it up a couple weeks back, and thankfully no heart attacks. It’s fascinating how ingrained that activity is in my mental health. The past say, 5 years or so, I’ve tried to find as many activities as possible to help with mental health. That’s worked out well enough I suppose, in that not having 1 activity doesn’t cause a cascade effect. There are certainly preferences in those activities, but there’s enough there I never feel lost.

The amount of prep anxiety for start of the fall isn’t all that strong this year. There are certainly things to take care of, Back to School shopping isn’t just magic, but it’s also not things that take 50 hours to do. The kids are getting older, and we’ve spent a lot of time teaching them planning skills, that it’s quite easy for them to build a clear list of things to do. And then they do many things on that list themselves, and can live the rewards of those actions. I think that’s one of the larger joys in parenting… seeing your kids grow in autonomy, while still being kids. Hard to explain, one of those “if you know, you know” I suppose.

A long-weekend to go, and that will be the real transition to the Fall. Fingers crossed we can stay in “normal” for as long as possible.

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