The end of August didn’t used to mean much to me.
When I lived on the East Coast, it indicated colder days ahead and a shift from summer’s simple foods to that of a heartier sort.
When I relocated to Texas, practically nothing changed in my life come fall.
Light, healthy eating remained since it’s hot pretty much year ‘round in Austin.
My routine—work or play—wasn’t altered with the advent of summer so there was never anything to return to. And, with no little ones gearing up for school to start, July and September were entirely interchangeable.
Initially, even with the addition of our daughter, nothing in my world shifted with the arrival of fall…until she started school.
It was then I finally got it.
Only then did I grasp what friends had referred to when they lamented the mayhem of fall.
To my surprise the entire family was impacted by our daughter’s sweet, sweet summer freedom.
We stayed up late.
We still got up early (which may seem a positive as we kinda kept to our school-routine. It was not. We were always very tired.).
We watched lots of movies.
We ate many less than healthy snacks during the aforementioned movie viewing.
We were super, summer time active and frolicked like the crazy people we are. We climbed, swam, did gymnastics, hula-hooped, trampolined and generally moved all day long.
And the loose schedule of summer afforded us the time to do all of the above in the name of fun.
Now, as the start of school approaches, I find I’m equally sad and ready to get back to routine.
Unbeknownst to the other members of my family I’ve come up with an idea.
I’m launching a Back to Basics Boot-camp of sorts with regards to our food, sleep, and exercise routines.
Allow me to elaborate.
For my family the benefits of eating healthy extend far beyond how we look. When we eat good, clean foods, we feel better, sleep more soundly and have far more energy. Here it’s all about keeping the blood sugar levels balanced. Our meals remained (pretty) okay throughout the summer, but I had the luxury of zipping to the grocery with the child right before making lunch or dinner. As part of getting back to fundamentals, I’m committing to meal planning and advance preparation.
Exercise comes so naturally in the summer. We have all day to move and great weather in which to do it! With fall and school comes homework and sitting. I’m making the commitment to prioritize activity as much as possible even as she heads back to the classroom. We’ll be taking homework breaks and stretching. I plan to take advantage of the lingering evening light for family walks after dinner. I’m committing to leading by example and practicing what I may be tempted to preach.
It’s definitely time for a sleep boot camp here. We need to return to our old, school-time wind down routines that signal our bodies and brains it’s time to rest. It’s taken effort, but we’ve discovered what morning and night habits work best for our family. It’s time to return to basics with that, too, as routine sets us all up for success.
I know we will all miss the freedom in all facets of our lives that summer offers, but if nothing else we know there’s another one coming in ten months or so.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t share there’s a small facet of our routine and framework to our days I’ve sort of missed.
And our eight year old? She’d never admit it, but I’d venture to guess she feels the same way, too.
- Did you find—children or not—summertime derailed your slumber, movement, and food-plan?