Hey there, awesome readers!
The end of summer is discreetly tapping on our shoulders and everyone is talking about back to school. Some of us refer to it as “the most wonderful time of the year”. Others, as the most expensive time of the year – even more expensive than the holiday season!
Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, the end of lazy, summer days means the beginning of routine. Getting up at a specific time. Lunches, backpacks, and shoe laces tied. Having to be out the door by exactly-o’clock. Phew! I’m overwhelmed just remembering when my kids were little and back to school was a balanced part of a healthy calendar year.
And as if reality isn’t reminder enough, retailers are Tweeting about back-to-school sales, writers are posting articles that provide tips on how you can save both money and your mind (as a writer, I plead guilty to this too), and even teachers are getting in on the millennium mayhem by posting their class schedules and student supply lists on school websites.
The big question:
Why is back to school so damn stressful?
It’s expensive. It’s chaotic. We know that. And at the same time, we also know it’s coming. We know as soon as school lets out in JUNE that it’s coming.
End of June: Yayyy! No more homework. No more lunches to plan.
Beginning of July: Oh, the stuff we’re going to do! The outdoor activities. The family trips.
End of July: Indifference takes a seat next to whatever. The days slip into boredom yet no one wants to do anything.
Beginning of August: You begin to see summer as a breeding ground for annoyances. You dream – FANTASIZE – about running away from home. (But wait! That’s ridiculous. Adults don’t run away from home. Do they?)
Middle of August: WTW! Back to school is ALREADY??? It feels like summer just started!
In many ways, back to school mirrors life.
Case in point …
Realizing that it’s the most wonderful time of the year:
You have the whole summer in front of you and then *BANG*. You feel thrust into a sudden need to impose a routine. And the shopping. OMG the shopping.
Physical signs: Changes in the rhythm of your breath, heart palpitations, f-bombs falling out of your mouth. Panic.
The life version, when you realize that you’re *this* age:
You have your entire life in front of you and then *BANG*. Only THIS bang feels more like the bewilderment of sleep-walking into a brick wall.
Physical signs: Your eyes pop open, pieces of rust fall away from your brain, your f-bombs are dropping f-bombs. Also panic.
Suddenly you realize that there’s more time behind you than there is ahead of you.
What to do, what to do?
Again, we KNOW it’s coming. But do we really?
Aging isn’t on any calendar. Technically, it is on every calendar but that’s not what we’re looking at when we anticipate a specific date. A family member’s birthday … a friend’s divorce party.
Although trivial in comparison, back to school really IS like life and aging. Tomorrow always comes. Until the first day of class or until *gasp* today is the last day. The REAL last day.
So, while kids are getting ready to head back to school, I’ve decided to attack my bucket list. For years (and since I’m THIS age, there are a lot of years behind that “for years” statement), I’ve dreamed of going to a writer’s retreat. Connecting with other obsessively like-minded individuals. People that dance with words and live in their heads. Folks that know what it is to exist in a constant stream of thoughts and fixations. Strangers that will know what I’m talking about when I say that my biggest fears (next to serial killers and spiders) are a broken mind and arthritic fingers.
If I may borrow two random words from the dictionary and put them together without sounding like I’m plagiarizing or delusional: “My people”.
Yes, I’m going to a writer’s retreat to connect with MY PEOPLE.
And I. Can’t. Wait.
Some of you may know her or know of her: Linda Sivertsen from BookMama.com and the voice behind TheBeautifulWritersPodcast. Linda hosts a writer’s retreat a few times a year and I’m going, awesome readers!
The good thing about reaching this age and bucket lists is that I have no regrets when I say with unabashed abandonment, “have fun in class, kids! Even a time machine wouldn’t make me change places with you right now.”
This is a milestone in my life. A beautiful milestone.
If you have something on your bucket list that you’ve been putting off, I encourage you to go for it. Making the decision to do something you’ve always wanted to do – something for you – is empowering. The decision alone changes you in a way that makes your life bigger than it was just minutes prior to your decision.
Key words: Your decision.
I’m off to conquer my world now. But know, awesome readers, that if you have something on your bucket list that you’d like to share, I would love to know about it. Share it in the comments, send it to me directly through the contact page, your choice.
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