Last September broke me. It wasn’t just September’s fault. I was complicit.
We made it through a summer of juggling work, summer camps, family visits and travel. Perhaps that led to me being over-confident. Maybe I just wasn’t sleeping enough and was not connecting the dots on what September would bring. Or maybe I just said yes to too many things. Whatever the cause, our usual carefully crafted work life family balance went off the rails.
I went out of town every week from Boston to San Francisco to DC. I walked 50 miles to raise money for the MS Society. Our little guy started kindergarten. Our oldest played volleyball and did the dance team. Our middle stepped it up at the gym in the hopes of making the gymnastics team. She also got braces, which of course involves multiple trips to the orthodontist. My husband climbed Mt. St. Helens, unfortunately without me as I bailed after some really bad toenail and foot damage at the 50 mile walk. There were kindergarten adjustment issues. And our middle has still not forgiven me for missing picture day. By the end of September, The Dolph family was limping along.
Flash forward to September 2017. September, I see you. I got you. I am ready. I am 8 months into this not working gig. I have accepted that I cannot run, go to the gym, volunteer at school, and make healthy, delicious homemade meals every day. There will be no unnecessary travel. There will be no races, no fun trips with friends.
I know the month is not yet over, but I am feeling pretty good about my relationship with September this year. Not only was I here for picture day, I made sure everyone had an acceptable outfit more than 24 hours before the big day. I have not missed a major sporting event, and at least one of us attended both back to school nights. I even bought school supplies in advance (not too far in advance, but it was not the night before school started!). I still have a to-do list a mile long. I do not have six pack abs. And we still eat too many frozen meals. But, I am still marking September 2017 as a win.
We’ll see how I feel when we get to what Oregonians call No School November.