A Moment in My Life – Monday, August 31, 2020
Is it really the last day of August? My sister-in-law and her family used to host an end-of-summer-BBQ every year, which was a lot of fun. What I didn’t like about it was that they would send out the invitation in June. I remember the panic that shot through my core as I read the invitations and the words that shot out from my mouth, “What! End-of-summer? My summer hasn’t even started yet. What do you mean ‘end of summer’?” Summers flash by so quickly already. The thought of summer ending before it started was alarming and not a good feeling. Like it or not, here we are—the end of summer—for real.
When I was in school, school always began the Wednesday following Labor Day. I still live according to that schedule. Hearing kids return to school during August seems sacrilegious. Worse yet, for those poor kids returning to school in the middle of July! To me, summertime is sacred, regardless of how you cut it. I like the flip side of this coin, though, when those same kids get out of school earlier than June. In the end, it all works out, I suppose. It’s a matter of getting used to whichever schedule you have.
Today, I decided to do something different and reflect on this month that ends tonight. It was a fast and full month with little lag time. I tend to have a slush pile of ‘to-do’s’ guaranteeing that I have zero opportunity for boredom.
I remember my first sabbatical from Schwab. We were entitled to one month off per five years of service. I was too busy ‘being a good employee’ to bother with taking time off until year 17. By then, HR allowed me to take two months off back-to-back to catch up. Oh, so exciting! Two whooping months off! Wow! I didn’t want to squander a second of it. I meticulously planned out 22 items on my To-Do List and charted the tasks out on my calendar before my sabbatical arrived. At the end of my time off, I checked off 17 of the 22 items. I was disappointed that I didn’t accomplish all 22 things, but it was great when I compared my time off with a coworker who became bored out of her skull after two weeks of her one-month sabbatical. I never understood how someone could have nothing to do and was so bored that she wanted to return to work, but that’s just me.
In reflecting on August, I’m glad that I had only one massive project to handle. Thank God, my refrigerator problem was in July before I had the gate problem to deal with this month. Since July, the gate problem has been on-going, but it didn’t become an issue that I had to deal with until August.
This summer, my next-door neighbor decided to replace his side gate. While he was at it, he changed the direction his gate opens. Initially, both of our gates hinged on the beam that supported our shared fence. Once he removed his gate from the beam, there wasn’t enough weight to anchor down that beam, which caused the beam to lean towards my gate’s weight. This lazy beam caused my gate to fall out of alignment, creating a challenge every time I opened and closed my gate. My neighbor attempted to correct this, but in the end, replacing my gate was the best solution.
Disposing of the gate was the big to-do. I used one of my two free Scavenger annual bulky item pickups. It made sense to maximize this pickup. The only bulky things I had were tree stakes. We cut loose five of them and left them lying next to the house where they’ve been comfortable for years. I went around and released the remaining stakes from their employment, where they have been pretending to hold the matured trees in place for two decades.
These stakes created my dilemma, which my new gardener, Mike, resolved when he helped me cut the 7-9 feet stakes down to size for disposal. This task, along with the on-going irrigation problem, is helping Mike and me forge a rapport.
Then, there was my Microsoft problem that needed my attention. I was thrilled to get my Microsoft Office working again and finally rid of Office 365 and its pesky constant renewal reminders. I knew I couldn’t live without Word, but without it, it was handicapping at best.
August will always have a warm spot in my heart as this was the month I launched my daily column, ‘A Moment in My Life,’ and it was the first month I completed 18 essays in one month. I’ve completed a novel in a month, but that was one long story, not 18 different ones.
I was never much of a phone person, but this month I spent a good chunk of time talking on the phone and more FaceTime moments than ever before. Oh, I almost forgot the Zoom calls. Thanks to the modern conveniences, the only part of socializing I missed was the part where we were face-to-face eating together. I’m grateful I get to continue chatting with people via social media and the phone.
Finally, the last high point for the month, I partnered with my niece Kathy on working out with the Bodygym. We’ve just started it and loved it so far. Cables were my favorite machines at the gym. The only things I missed about going to the gym were using the cables and the friends I made there.
I’m sad that August is coming to an end. It served me well, though, even with the unpredictable weather, which fits right in with this unforeseeable 2020. It was an August not to forget with the unseasonable heatwave, the tropical thunderstorms, the numerous fires, and the quick reopen and even faster business closures due to Covid-19. With that said, I’m glad August is over, and I’m looking forward to September, which I expect will bring blessings, healings, restoration, and hope.