Editorial: The new December

Published: September 13, 2017


Friends of mine in southern Ontario were crowding my online presence last week with promises to be organized and motivated as their children returned to the day to day academic grind making me laugh and sigh at the same time, especially when one proudly cheered to a happy and successful “New Year.”

Argh, seriously, who makes a toast to the New Year at this time of year. A cheer to the New Year should only be given with champagne and inappropriate hand gestures on Dec. 31.

However, stress management gurus and life coaches will tell you that September is the new December when it comes to setting personal goals and launching new projects. Falling out of routine can make people feel unbalanced and anxious leading to many attempting to right the ship as school starts and sweaters become a mandatory fashion accessory.

I have found in the last few years, that even without the call of academic anguish, unconsciously I set more goals at this time of the year than any other. This year has been no different and if I am honest with myself my goals are on steroids.

Want a winter vacation? Better get saving. Is career advancement in my future? Better look at upgrading opportunities. Need to counteract the summer infatuation of blender drinks and All-American Iced Teas? Time to commit to a ridiculous endurance challenge.

At the end of August I actually had the thought “Why am I not this relaxed all year long?” Three weeks into the month and I am longing for the dog days of cottage time because as the fall leaves appear so does my drive to be superwoman and tackle everything at once.

Life Coach Karen Hourtovenko says the anxiety that comes from the end of the summer is attributed to the work required to re-establish “routine.”

“That word come up often. It’s not just the student, it’s the parents,” she said in a recent interview. “When you get out of habit, and you feel out of sorts, people feel like they’re missing what they’re doing… What if I told you people are normal, we just carry some baggage or garbage around that doesn’t belong to us, and if we get rid of it we could feel free and live the life we want to live? Accept or get rid of what’s not yours to own.”

She also advocates to sit down, write about what you want and commit to the work necessary to get there. I want someone to remind me when I am hung over on New Years Day that I don’t need to waste time making resolutions. One less think to worry about on my only full day off of the entire winter.


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