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Silken Laumann

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Back to School Glee

Posted: 09/14/11 05:42 PM ET

New Year for me is marked by the sound of the school bell. As all four of our children leave for school today, I am absolutely thrilled to be back at my desk happily writing away. My kids will by mid-week be gone for a solid six hours. Six hours, what I can do with six hours? I will cram in six business calls, organize the delivery of the sink and faucets for our kitchen renovation, talk to the contractor, write my blog, and send off the first draft of an article for Motivated Magazine. All this without interruption for any of our four children who could have needed a drive to a friends, couldn't find their bathing suit, needed me to referee whose turn it was to use the computer. I am dizzy with happiness.

I will begin to plan my fall, find chunks of writing time during the week, figure out travel for out-of-town speeches, attend a workshop on NLP(Neuro-Linguistic Programming). I have my day timer spread out before me today, even though I know that this is too ambitious a task for the first full day without kids. It's the possibility that hooks me. The idea that September is a fresh year with the possibility of productive work and a more organized home life.

By next week I will be longing for those fabulous days of summer again, days we had ample of this summer as I took a month off working and speaking, to simply play with my kids. We moved ourselves into my husband's family cottage, and took over all 900sqft for a solid month of water sports and book reading. It was one of the best summers of our lives, my 14 year-old learned to water ski, my daughter to knee board, we spent time just enjoying one another. I wouldn't have made the summer a day shorter, but today I am bursting with productivity.

I am not an idiot; I have done September before. Each year, that last week of September is like the final 500m of a rowing race. You know you are almost home but it feels like you still have a long way to go. There is so much unpredictability in September. Will the kids all like their teacher (with four kids, statistically unlikely), what days will they dance, and Synchro swim, and have night league basketball? There is always one night a week that it is a physical impossibility to drive the kids everywhere they need to be, so car pools have to be organized, or even worse, a child has to be told they can't do that activity because it conflicts with another child's. Every day in September builds in intensity, and I reach the end of the month holding it together only on the knowledge that October is always better.

Today though, I am going to enjoy my freedom gleefully.

 

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