I work at a college. Translation, August is a brutal month full of long hours and stress. I literally work everyday every hour my son and body will allow. I sneak on my computer as early as 4:30am and as late as midnight trying to gear up for the fall semester. The evil truth is that with all of this work, I am still always behind. Things are left undone and it's not just me, it's happening to everyone at the college. We are all putting our heads down, working furiously hoping for Labor Day.
It's also the end of the summer. Kids are going back to school. Even my 2-year-old son senses the change in the air. We are trying to squeeze every fun minute out of our weekends as possible with music festivals, Science Center visits, baseball games, etc. I let his energy level dictate how long we can stay at most places. Some days, he outlasts me.
I run in the mornings on the treadmill before work. It's my only me time and my way to train for this upcoming half marathon. On the first day of school, my mind was racing as I ran trying to prepare myself for the stress of work. At that moment, I made a decision. It's going to be impossible for me to keep all people happy during this brutal, honest month. Crisis situations will get routed to my voicemail, help tickets will digitally pile up and too many people will walk into my office asking for an instantaneous solution. I can't do it all, I can do two things - keep my son happy and my fitness app stats on track (aka look after myself).
Believe it or not, it's working. After ten years of starting a fall semester at a college, this one by far is has been the easiest. Sure, there are heaps of problems to solve, but I have never slept better or felt more physically able to do my job. My son is happy - full of life and hitting another growth spurt as I type.
When my outside life gets stressful, my tendency is to aim everything I have at it and hope it works so that we don't experience any problems. Believe me, it never works. Problems find you. There are cracks everywhere. Instead, focus on what matters - your loved ones and your health. Fall semesters will come and go. Your time with your loved ones and your health deserve your full attention.