The last week of August, bittersweet in nature, always seems to come as a surprise. Back to school shopping, slightly shorter days and a realization that there are no more trips planned of scheduled days off in the calendar are all indicators that, with some level of sadness, Summer is coming to a close.
With all that being said, I feel it is important to pause and think, not on the end of the warm, sunny days and the grind that comes between now and Christmas, but rather on everything that just transpired; the adventures had, the laughs shared and the experiences which helped to shape one of the most fleeting times of the year.
At the onset of the nicer weather I had set forth a few goals for myself and I’m proud and happy to say that, for the most part, I have stuck with them. I have put a focus on my health, both physical and mental, though the latter is admittedly something I feel could use some more tender love and care, and so I am pursuing efforts in self-forgiveness and an easing of constant guilt that somehow seems to occupy my mind. I have spent time with my family at every opportunity, and we’ve so far tackled 7 of the 10 new trails and parks I had thrown out as the goal. We have committed to regular family bicycle rides, we continue our constant exploring, we made it to a Jays game and I have, for the most part, put checks in all the boxes on my personal goal list:
- I will publish a book before the end of 2022 – check
- I will get a second tattoo – check
- I will write one blog post per week – check
- I will watch two movies a month that are of interest to me – check
- I will play guitar at least once per week – check
- I will make one new recipe a week – check
- I will say ‘no’ and be okay with it – check
- I will step away from my desk at lunch – shoot, I need to make a conscious effort on this one.
- I will teach the kids how to make ice cream from scratch – how has this not happened yet!!?? Clearly we now have plans this week!
It really was a fantastic couple of months, in particular contrast to the past few years, when friendly visits and extended travel were limited. We saw friends we haven’t seen in far too long, carried on some faithful traditions, and dipped our toes into some new experiences as we tasted new foods and travelled new lands. I love looking back at the album we’ve so naturally created and soaking in those memories and feelings that we tend to so quickly move on from. I have a lot to be grateful for as I review these photos and bring the emotional experiences back to the surface.
From overnight backpacking with Alison along the Bruce Peninsula in early July (a trip I will detail later for anyone interested in doing amazingly rewarding things), to where I am in this particular moment: sitting on a dock in Bancroft with a few of my closest friends, we have collected some wonderful stories this year. As mentioned earlier: I am grateful for these stories. I am grateful to my family for pushing me into new experiences and waterfalls…so to speak. I am grateful for my parents and my brother for spending time together at Christie Lake for the first time in over 20 years. I am grateful for my ultimate frisbee team, who encourages me and keeps me feeling young. I am grateful for my physiotherapist for fixing my dislocated shoulder and reminding me that I’m not actually that young and should be more careful playing ultimate frisbee. I am grateful for my friends, who always keep me laughing and full of love; across many groups we shared some pretty amazing times this summer and I appreciate how you all include our children in the planning. I am grateful for all of the ice cream, lemonade, pool parties, camping, trampolines, pinatas, barbecues, salads, slip and slides, lack of bee stings (knock on wood), time in the hammock, baseball games, face painting, spike ball, my physiotherapist who fixed my ankle after I messed it up playing spike ball, hikes, bikes, and afternoon naps, to name a few more things.
So much to think back on and yet still much more to look forward to and I genuinely hope your summer has felt the same. Though, as I’m sure I’ve stated before: when all the focus is on what comes next, it becomes difficult to appreciate what’s happening in the present and all the events that brought us here, so I highly recommend you open up the phone and start scrolling through your own memories and pause on the ones that brought you joy . And while the remaining time is comparatively short, it’s not over yet, and I’m going to enjoy this last week to its fullest extent and pre-emptively book my next physio appointment.