I'm asking the question again:  how did I (we) get here?  It's September!  We are now officially (in the book of Bfth) in pumpkin spice season.  (No matter what Wawa or Dunkin tell you, pumpkin spice is FORBIDDEN until Labor Day weekend.  NO pumpkin spice in mid-August.  NO!)  Of course the end of August felt like mid-September and I understand that the first week of September is going to feel like mid-July or August so who the heck knows....

I know that summer did exist.  I know that I did take a few days off (mostly to deal with items/issues associated with my father's passing.)  Summer (in the book of Bfth) is supposed to be a time to slow down and relax.  That didn't really happen this year.  (I don't think it happened last year either!)

This summer has been all about getting through "stuff."  Jumping through BoA's  hoops to get my father's accounts closed and the money sent to me.  (Yes, I finally got the check!  It only took a month and a LOT of badgering.)  Filling out forms for Putnam and Venerable   (Challenging, but once I got help with it, no other issues.)  Cleaning out the shore house; making it less of a "place" and more of a "home".  Getting the deed to the shore (or at least being told that the deed is now in my name) and rushing to get homeowners and flood policies updated. (A costly enterprise). Trading in two SUVs and getting a new one (but STILL don't have the title.)  Packing up my son and getting him to college.  (He's been there over a week now and how I wish I could be a fly on the wall.  I don't want to intervene on anything, but I do want to know EVERYTHING that is going on.  We've had no conversation since we hugged him goodbye on the 24th, but I have initiated daily texts that give me the bare minimum.  Mostly that he's liking his classes, he's probably going to be in the treble choir,  and that he's made some friends, including one who is a commuter who took him to Target last Saturday night [good thing I gave him a Target gift card for his birthday].  I know there is so much more going on...or at least I hope so and the crazy mom in me wants to know every detail...and I know I never will!)

All of the above doesn't include the work related "stuff."  While summer used to mean downtime, no more!  (Long gone are the "summer Fridays” and early dismissals the day before holidays.)   Colleagues have been taking well deserved vacations and I've been doing some coverage, all while taking on some new responsibilities and trying to navigate through ever changing "rules and regulations."   While commuting to the office (which ruins  my hair no matter what...yes, I have a "thing" about my hair and it's getting worse as I am getting older and my baby fine hair is getting thinner while the rest of me is getting fatter/fuller) three days a week is not (yet) mandated, it IS expected.  Commuting isn't bad (I can get some good walking in if I take the express bus) or costly (thank you NJ Transit), but it does restrict me.  (I'm not big into restrictions.)  Working from home has so many wonderful benefits (not the least of which I can get errands done on "lunch") and being in a cold office offers less.  (Not that I don't like the people I see on a regular basis in the office, but...I'm old, I'd rather be home.)  To be completely frank, work this summer has been more stressful than ever and load that onto the rest of the "stuff" that is's been (to use my word of the year), OVERWHELMING.

Perhaps I should be welcoming this new month with the hope that with a good deal of "stuff" behind me or completed (except for work, that NEVER ends) will avail me to more downtime and less stress.  (Well, I DO have to be hopeful.)  Maybe it's even time to think about an "empty nest" (how I hate that term), vacation.  The 27th anniversary is just around the corner.  (Thoughts?  Suggestions?)

Welcome September!  Please bring me warm days, cool (NOT COLD) nights) and lots of pumpkin spice lattes.


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