The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

If you listen carefully, you can hear me singing: it’s the moooost wonderful tiiiiime of the yeeeeear!! BACK TO SCHOOL! August 29th marks the end of my first summer with two kids. We have done a lot of fun stuff- time at the pool, on the boat, playing outside, riding bikes and scooters, cookouts, parties, backyard fires, staying up late. AND this summer we got central AC installed, so I hate the heat so much less now! I am a much more pleasant person, even though Kirk is annoyed that I crank the temperature down to “igloo.” Plus, this summer I’m not 500 weeks pregnant and angry that it’s hot all the time and I can’t tie my shoes. I have watched Reid and Sydney play together – and actually PLAY! – and genuinely enjoy each other. He still makes her laugh like nobody else can.

BUT. I am so, so type-A. I crave schedules and routine (and control, duh). Fall, for me, is more than sweater weather and pumpkin spice everything (although I do love pumpkin spice. Sorry). It’s the beginning of a new school year, of the return to routines and normalcy. Fall feels like more of a “new beginning” to me than spring does, or even the actual New Year. I’ve always treated September as a time to reset, to evaluate the current state of affairs. Summer is fun, but the lack of routine is unsettling to me. Plus, I was always pretty decent at school, so I looked forward to going back each year. But as I said- the past couple of weeks, I have spent a lot of time thinking about how things are going in my life, generally speaking. I tend to do that- think about something for weeks, carefully reach a conclusion, then share. So, this is me sharing.

Family: I think everyone in our family is ready for school to start again. Reid seems increasingly irritated with my lack of daily entertainment, and he really wants to be back with his buddies. We had a playdate with one of his school friends yesterday and I haven’t seen him that happy in awhile. Meanwhile, Syd turns 1 in about a month and I’m ignoring that. If we don’t celebrate her birthday, then she’s still a tiny baby, right? Isn’t that how it works?

Nutrition: This gets its own category because it’s such a big part of my life right now. I recently met with one of the doctors at the Functional Medicine Center at the Cleveland Clinic for a follow up appointment. I felt like overall, I was doing fairly well nutrition-wise. But some recent bloodwork indicated that I still have work to do. Some deficiencies in certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids (yes, it gets super specific). I have come a long, long way since January when I had my first appointment. I just need to remember that this is not a sprint- these are lifestyle changes that take time. It’s incredibly easy to fall back into old habits- I spent 7 weeks without drinking a drop of alcohol from February-April. This summer, I seem to be making up for lost time, and I’m definitely feeling the effects. I know in my head this pattern doesn’t serve my health, but saying no to margaritas on a patio on a hot summer day is really difficult. That’s something I’ve always struggled with- moderation and balance. When I’m into something, I’m 110% in. That’s why the elimination diet wasn’t too difficult for me mentally- the answer wasn’t “maybe I could have something occasionally,” the answer was simply NO. The decision was already made. Food choices were either “none” or “limitless.” I’m not suggesting this is a super healthy or normal approach, but it’s how I’m wired. It’s much easier for me to say “no” to dairy products 100% of the time than say “sometimes.”

Exercise: This is something that I feel pretty good about lately. ┬áLast week at crossfit, we did a workout called DT. This is a workout that we do every so often. Last time was in January. This time, I had 10# more on my barbell and beat my time by 1:50. I am hitting PR’s pretty regularly and feel like I’m putting in a good effort in the gym. A couple weeks ago I decided I wanted to go for a run (this NEVER happens) and I busted out a 4 mile run. I then laid in bed for 2 hours because I felt dead, but that’s beside the point. I am excited to see more results as my diet becomes a little cleaner.

Career: This is a relatively new category for me to consider. I thought once I became a stay-at-home mom, that’s what I was forever. Of course, that is silly. And recently I’ve realized that I need something more than what I’m getting at home. I want to go back to work in some capacity. I want to contribute financially to our family again. At first I was incredibly nervous about explaining the 4.5 year gap in my resume, but so far nobody has asked about it. I imagine it’s not uncommon, since I’m certainly not the first person to take some time off to be with family. I keep reminding myself that I am a smart person with things to offer, and this move is a good one for our family.

So, as we make the transition from summer to fall, this is what’s on my mind. Next week is the last week of our summer break, and it’s already a busy one. In the meantime, I’ll try not to go completely crazy at the tail end here. Just 9 more days, but who’s counting…

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