Looking at the calendar can be a shock these days. . .”Is it really mid-August? I thought summer just started!” But, no, it’s drawing to a close. If you peek forward to the September page, you are likely to see an autumn scene. As you hastily turn back to the sunshine and outdoor venues of August, you can breathe a sigh of relief. There’s still time! These days that complete the summer can – and should – be wonderful days of enjoyment and anticipation. You are completing a special period of time and moving into another.
You may be headed back to school or back to work. You may have had a Reboot Break and are now preparing to look for or start a new job. All of those possibilities and more for renewal in the fall are exciting. It’s the proverbial new leaf.
We have prepared some reentry tips for all of you, regardless of your own situation, to consider as Labor Day comes nearer, signaling the formal end of summer. The tips can apply to any time that you are transitioning:
1. Think back on the summer and make a list of everything you did. You may be surprised at the various activities and accomplishments. You’ve been busy!
2. Separately list or note what you liked most. What would you do again – either a place to visit, an event, or a habit you developed, such as a new kind of exercising or getting up early to listen to music and to journal?
3. What did you not do that you still want to do?
4. Reflect on the lessons of the summer, starting with insights about yourself. Maybe you have discovered how much you love to read mysteries or that you want a pet or that you want to continue to experiment with different kinds of cooking. Besides learning more about your likes and dislikes, what else did you learn about yourself?
5. What did you learn about yourself in relation to people close to you? Maybe you have new insights into parenting or new ideas about work relationships.
6. What are the habits you want to carry back into your work life or school life? List them and write a plan on how you will incorporate them into your working life. Examples are more time with family, not working through lunch, exercising, visits to art museums, playing your guitar, dabbling in carpentry or pottery or photography, reading biographies, taking mini-sabbaticals.
7. Did you experiment with time away from technology, mainly mobile phones or anything that keeps you tethered to something else in a way that drains away freedom and exploration?
8. Did summer activities or more relaxation lead to profound thoughts about the next chapter of your life? Did you find yourself wanting to change jobs or even what you mainly do for a living? Did you grapple with retirement issues? Often time away from the routine brings up these questions and we have more time to think about them. Capture your thoughts in writing.
9. Look at what you wrote in #8 and, if it is change you want, figure out next steps, including talking to someone close to you, doing some research, starting to dream about it.
10. And, hey, plan something fun for the last bit of summer!