end of summer

August 30, 2019
There is something about the Labor Day holiday weekend that truly feels like the end of summer. It feels finite, like the end of a chapter of a novel.

Summer 2019 ended in the best possible way. Four days of love, music, friends, and food. First, we drove to Grand Junction, CO to see Amos Lee in concert on Friday night. He's been my #1 for over ten years, and this was my second time watching him perform live. In addition to the concert, I had the opportunity to meet him after the concert. He's an incredible musician, and an overwhelmingly kind person.

Sunday evening, we invited our wonderful new neighbor friends over for dinner. I'm grateful we've met them and hit it off so quickly. I love having great friends right down the street.

Monday, our other great friends invited us over for a Labor Day barbeque. It's so necessary to occasionally let down your guard, and laugh and unwind with the right people. Friends are priceless blessings, never to be taken for granted in this crazy, messy world.

I feel refreshed and ready to return to the office this week, and tackle my first online class, thanks to a perfect end-of-summer weekend. Memories were made and will be wrapped in gratitude and stored away. Fall is my favorite season, so I'm not usually sad to leave summer behind. But I'm just the tiniest bit melancholy about it this year, after such a joyous weekend. I felt so much love in each moment, and now I feel the ache of missing it all just as strongly.

A.

PS. In case you don't know...




a little storm, a little peace

August 30, 2019 | Grand Junction, CO
September feels like the start of a new season. I welcome it. After a mixed-up summer, I'm blooming once again. I suppose it makes sense to start with a recap of the past few months.

Summer '19 started much the same way as Summer '18. I was notified that my department was being dissolved, and my job was once again in limbo. After a waiting game that lasted a couple months, I received my answer. Without dwelling on it, let's just say it wasn't what I would have chosen... had I been given a choice or even a chance to voice my opinion.

Cue a string of panic attacks.

Then came an interesting twist. I interviewed for a position I saw advertised online, outside of my current company. After no less than four interviews (I kid not), I was hired... but for a position that doesn't yet exist. It turned out, the owner of the company liked me, but the other finalist had more experience. So his solution is to create a brand new position for me, but I have no idea how long that may take. And, if the economy keeps going in its current direction, the worst case scenario could be that the company decides it's too unstable of a time to hire me. So I'm cautiously hopeful at this point.

In another realm of my life, J's parents moved in with us about a month ago. They've officially retired and moved to Utah, and are building a home about 40 miles south of us. They are living with us while waiting for their new home. I genuinely love my in-laws and am happy they'll be living close by, but as an introvert, it's taken a lot for me to adjust to a busier household.

And to throw a cherry on top of my crazy life sundae - because why wouldn't I?! - I made a major commitment and decided to go back to school. I'm getting ready to start an online Master's of Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. I first found myself on the roller coaster at work in 2016, and it's been nonstop ever since. After the latest loop, I realized that if I had started a degree then, I would have had the option to walk away in the name of self-respect, rather than continue to feel stuck in a cycle of emotional abuse with no escape. I don't want to look back in another 3 years and realize the same thing all over again.

Truthfully, it's been a soul-crushing summer. But I survived. I grew stronger and wiser because of it all. And hopefully, 3 years from now, I'll be starting my own counseling practice instead of wishing I had started 3 years ago... In the remaining months of 2019, I would like to focus on what is within my control, and let go of the rest. I won't allow work to kill my spirit and damage my self-esteem, no matter how hard they try.

With that, I hope life begins to settle down as it also begins to cool down. I hope I come back to writing more often. I hope I stop and take notice of the transition from Summer to Fall. I hope I find myself curled up under a warm blanket, reading a great classic, while Lucia naps beside me. I hope the days get shorter soon, because darkness is better for watching crime shows on Netflix.

A.