As the summer ends…

… I hope I can continue to hold on to some of the positivity I have come to feel during this summer. Getting away for our summer holiday to France this year has really lifted my spirits. It has also helped put things a little bit in perspective for me. Yes, I hate my job, but I only work 32 hours (i.e. 4 days) a week and work really isn’t everything! Working from home for a year and half during lockdowns and restricted activities has started to make it feel like it is everything, probably due to lack of other distractions, but it really is not everything. Also, work allows me to pay for things I enjoy, like that holiday in France, and I have quite a good amount of days off as well. I have decided that I really shouldn’t let my work frustration colour my general mood so much. I hope I can hold on to that as I continue to search for work that will hopefully bring me more joy in the future.

I have much to be thankful for, I realize again as I sit here in our garden in what may be one of the last days of summer before it gets too chilly and wet to sit outside much…

On weekends this September I have enjoyed watching my kids play their sports. Junior tries to fit in handball whenever he can during his very busy work schedule at his hotel and also trying to finish off the last of school so that he can hopefully receive his diploma in a month or two.

And yes, he scored that goal after a breakout play. Mini me has also been loving getting back into football again after the summer, seen here (in red and black on the left) in a defensive action…

Mr Esther and I look at each other and wonder where our kids’ love of and talent for sports comes from, as neither he nor I have it. We’re both really glad they do enjoy it so much as it’s not only healthy and fun for them, it’s also great for their social lives.

I also love seeing our kids adore our cats…

…. and when I see videos like this one of Mandy Patinkin singing prayers to his dog…

… I just grin and nod in recognition as we too are always singing to our cats (well, not prayers and admittedly, it’s mostly me singing, but you get my point).

I am thankful that socializing is happening a little more now. Not too much, I love my alone time, but a little more than during lockdown is good. I am thankful my family is all still healthy (my older brother in Israel did contract Covid a few weeks ago but due to having been vaccinated he had no symptoms) and my friends are healthy too. I am also happy to be helping some refugees through the volunteer work I am able to do at a Council for Refugees office for one afternoon a week (on my ‘free’ Wednesdays). I always feel so helpless when switching on the news, most recently with all the news coming from Afghanistan, and doing this volunteer work makes me feel like I can contribute to make at least some things a little bit better. Like it says in that famous ‘serenity prayer’: Gant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. So, I try to change the things I can and I hope that at least will keep me positive.

I suffer from the winter blues and I think the last round lasted almost until the summer holidays so I really hope to not sink into that again. Extra vitamin D, making sure I get outside more during the winter months and reminding myself of this mood in this post will hopefully help me stay positive for a while. Fingers crossed.

17 thoughts on “As the summer ends…

  1. Esther I’m more please winter is coming! It’s so warm here where I live that I just want to hibernate in the cool indoor air.
    Your garden looks so tranquil! I would be out there too and I get that job thing too
    Mine has allowed me to spend on myself and my home and my pups and I am grateful to have a job!
    Positive thoughts are healing and helpful ❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. aradaghast

      Je suis heureuse que vous concédiez que: “Ne travailler que 32 heures par semaine et avoir plusieurs semaines de vacances dans l’année permettent de vous reposer et de vous consacrer à des distractions saines”….
      “I wish you well”

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you, Michele.
      I don’t mind the cold of winter, I do mind that the days are so very short then, that it gets light late and but especially that it’s dark again around 5 pm. Just the thought of that makes my stomach tie up in a knot right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Servetus

    Glad to hear that you’ve made some kind of peace with things as they are, at least for the moment. I know it takes an effort every day: a personal and individual struggle.

    I read this article recently and (apart from the mildly repulsive reference to Viktor Frankl — obviously I got something different from that book than the author did, and I categorically deny that the Holocaust has some kind of “meaning”) I found it really helpful. I mention this because of how often you say “thankful” and “grateful” in this post. (Also, it all sounds a bit like my mom, which I find comforting – ymmv.)

    I think if one more person tells me to “think positive” about my situation , I may hit them — but I am very aware of, and find buoying, reasons to be thankful.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s an interesting read and actually exactly how I try to see things: acknowledge that there are bad things and down sides in the world and in my life but at the same time also try be grateful for the good things there are. In a way I guess it is a modified way of positive thinking without trying to erase or negate the bad. I think we can only really be thankful if we can also face reality and see that, yes, many things aren’t so great.
      Come to think of it, the being thankful bit also sounds a bit like my mom. 🙂
      I know very little about Viktor Frankl and if he said the Holocaust had ‘meaning’ – yeah, I can’t agree with that either.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Servetus

        Frankl: it’s a whole debate that I imagine you probably would not be that interested in, but essentially he said that in this book, published in the 40s, that people who had a positive attitude were more likely to have survived the Holocaust (as he did — there is now some debate about what he implied about his wartime experiences in this book — depending on how you read it, you can see him as having been a collaborator after the Anschluß and then in the camps — some of the allegations against him are pretty horrible) and that surviving the Holocaust strengthened the human spirit of survivors. Historians who’ve studied the topic in the interval have more or less concluded that the tendency to survive was largely random and didn’t have anything meaningful to do with a prisoner’s attitude, and psychological studies have noted high rates of depression and other forms of mental illness among Holocaust survivors (which some may have passed on to their own children either due to environment or, as is increasingly claimed, epigenetics). It’s mainly important to me because “Man’s Search for Meaning” is one of the most widely read books about the Holocaust in the U.S., so if someone cites Frankl approvingly that always makes me suspicious.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. glad you had a good holiday but it sounds like ultimately you will need to find wok that makes you happier, because no amount of other joy will get you though being unhappy 4 days a week. Hopefully something will come along soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rachel. 🙂
      And yes, I am working towards that – finding other work. Fingers crossed for the application I sent out last week (deadline is October 1st, so it’ll be a little while yet before I know anything from that).

      Liked by 1 person

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