Last week I began by stating that the end is nigh. It was in reference to the end of the family cottage. Oh, the cottage hasn’t ended, but our family’s time there has; Mom and Dad sold it, and my wife, kids and I have spent our last family vacation there.
As I told you last week, I’m not really good with change, and as I age I get less good with change. This change was a big one, and I’ll not bore you by repeating (yet again) why this is so. Please simply accept that a large, uncomfortable change has thrust itself upon my life.
And not just my life.
My kids, in particular my middle boy, have come to love the cottage as I have. How much? As we were loading the car for the final time, my middle boy told me, “Daddy, my stomach hurts.”
“I understand (number two), and I think I know why.”
Later, as he was quietly weeping as we drove out of the driveway for the last time, he said, “I think my stomach hurts because I’m so sad we’re leaving the cottage for the last time.”
“Yes, (number two), I think that’s it. We’re all sad that it’s the last time.” (Daddy chokes up)
Funny thing. I had my really hard time three weeks ago; I was choking up as I my wife and I were planning our final trip up there.
The trip itself turned out absolutely great. We all got the chance to do our favourite cottage things one last time, the weather cooperated, and we all had a great time. Fortunately, we were so busy doing our last trip, we didn’t have time to think about our last trip. We simply enjoyed it, and I was more distressed for my boy, than I was for me as we left.
As I look back over the summer, and all the stuff I didn’t get done, I think about the weeks I had up north and the time I could have spent getting them done.
And laugh at myself.
If I had actually spent my final cottage weeks working on my side projects, rather than having fun with my boys, vicariously living my childhood again through them, I would have regretted it until my dying day.
I suppose that’s one thing that having less life left in front of you, than you have lying behind you, life grants you. Perspective, wisdom, serenity, call it what you will. I may be unhappy that I’m months behind in launching my pilot course, and my podcast, but I know this; I’d be a lot unhappier if I didn’t give my boys all of my efforts to make their last cottage summer the best one of all.
Perhaps that is one of the keys to dealing with change. I knew it was coming and I braced myself for it, but bracing myself wasn’t enough. I also:
- Told my siblings, 6 months in advance, when I’d be there so they’d know their three boisterous nephews would be there
- Booked my vacation time, also 6 months in advance, and let the bosses know that this year I wouldn’t be giving any of it up
- Planned out, in great detail, what I’d be doing with my time there
- Put all my efforts into preparing my boys for their times
- Put all my energy into completing their cottage bucket lists
- Let slide things that I knew I could pick up on the other side, even though I knew I’d be down on myself
Take that last one; I publish every day. I missed one day in 5 months, because of a forgotten knapsack, and even then, I wrote the article, I just couldn’t post it.
Last week I missed Friday and Saturday. I might have been able to manage Friday, but Saturday just wasn’t happening. I’m just now getting caught up to yesterday, and there’s no way Sunday Success is getting done before tomorrow.
And I’m good with it.
Oh, I’m a little disappointed that the streak is broken. However, I’m still averaging more than once per day (I have been doubling up occasionally), and there are more important things than a daily publishing streak. Like my kids, and my own peace of mind.
Now it is done, and it’s time to move into a new chapter.
Every end is also a new beginning.