A year in August.

August comes from the Latin word augustus, meaning "consecrated" or "venerable," which in turn is related to the Latin augur, meaning "consecrated by augury" or "auspicious." In 8 B.C. the Roman Senate honored Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor, by changing the name of their month Sextilis to Augustus.

Intro

August 2021 has been one heck of a roller coaster that felt like 4 different seasons in a single month. There have been numerous occasions where I would want to sit down and increase the word count on this site, but then… [Life] Happens.

Summer

I have been working and fulfilling my purpose at the same company, in the same team since 3 February 2014 (7 years and 7 months). I’ve enjoyed growing as a consultant and as a human, built good relationships, lost some along the way as well. I reached a point where I started to feel complacent and since reaching my ceiling in March 2020 as we entered pandemic induced work-from-home, I started wondering… 

In the month of July, I started the interview process at a company I really wanted to work with. I met and communicated with wonderful people and had the most enjoyable interviews I’ve ever had when applying for a new role. I upskilled. I learned about many new technologies. I enjoyed life a little bit better. I felt purpose again. 

And then… on the 1st of August, my month started with an offer in my Inbox. 

A bittersweet symphony of emotions – I have a lot to thank my current employer for who I am today. I arranged a Google Meet with our CCO and shared the news that I am moving on.

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Autumn

In the week or two to follow after my resignation, I started to enjoy the first of many weekends which would be free of working overtime shifts. More time to spend with family, my wife and my kid. Since I’ve become a father, many of my weekends have been spent working and I’ve missed many an afternoon at the park, visiting my sister and her kids and many other memories. 

We spent the first weekend at my sister’s house where our whole family got together and my son got to enjoy a whole day with all of his cousins. When not chasing or being chased by his cousins, he would spend a lot of his time playing with construction vehicles in the sand and learning to jump on their trampoline. 

There used to be a mountain here, but it has been flattened by his bulldozers.

The case of the missing triceratops:

The following weekend, we had some family pictures taken. There can really not be enough of them. 

The last time we had a photographer take family pictures, my son was not yet able to walk, only sit upright.

Not much larger than a pine cone.

And now, now he is a free-spirited toddler who insists on climbing this tree over here and that log way over there. That day he brought with his favourite dinosaur, a black camouflage-patterned triceratops. 

A black triceratops which he dropped on a field of uncut green grass littered with fallen dried up leaves. Disaster! 

One does not simply abandon a fallen comrade! No, no, no. We had to go find the triceratops. Have you ever tried searching for a dark patterned item smaller than a fist in a field of uncut grass covered in dried up leaves? It’s impossible, IMPOSSIBLE! Oh, wait… Would you look at that, my wife managed to find it…

Wanting to fully make use of this newfound “weekend” concept, we also decided to spent our Sunday morning at our friends’ place with the purpose of the guys washing our cars and the ladies catching up and making some pancakes for breakfast. New mid-month traditions. 

Fun fact: Your son will most definitely use the dirty microfibre towel that was used to clean the car’s wheels, to help ‘clean’ the rest of the car…

Winter

Two days after spending the morning with our friends for pancake breakfast and washing our cars, we got a text from them with some unfortunate news that they have tested positive for Covid. We immediately started self-isolating, but alas, the symptoms started not too long afterwards and 2 days later my wife tested positive for Covid as well. 

The last 2 weeks have been extremely tough on us. My son, who has recently started going to his new school (New Beginnings), was forced to isolate and recover. As with most toddlers who feel ill, he also became very needy and he only wanted his mom. She herself was struggling a lot with the symptoms and was not in the best shape to constantly look after him as well. My symptoms only started much later. 

My recovery time took longer than it did for the other two. I do need to mention that I am notoriously useless when sick and Covid was no exception. Me being bedridden has put a lot more pressure on my wife when she started feeling better, but the needy toddler who only demands her attention remained a consistent theme. 

In addition to being useless, something I learned about myself in the last 2 weeks is that I became very on edge. Self-isolation, in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment, and emotionally drained cohabitants do have that effect on you. 

Cabin Fever.

Understandable, but it does not make it okay or acceptable to behave poorly. In hindsight, I think I worked against the others rather than with or for them. What I learned about myself, is that I have such a long way to go still and riddled with flaws. It was not an enjoyable 2 weeks and I did not help improve the mood. What I would do if I had to redo these 2 weeks? A good start would be to help out around the house more and have more grace and patience for another feeling sick and drained. 

In a previous blog (Snakes! Owls! And Spiders!) I shared how your kid sees you as their Superman and that is who you need to be for them. I failed dismally. 

The last 2 weeks were tough. But should not have been as tough as I made it. 

This blog is primarily for me, a place I can ramble and put thoughts to text. However, if you just so happen to stumble upon this blog and just so happen have managed to read this far: 

First of all, thanks! Secondly, are you selflessly trying to improve things in your household? Are you perhaps finding it tough self-isolating as well? What are you doing to make others feel warm and loved?

Spring

Tomorrow will be the 1st of September, Spring Day. The day after will be my birthday and then the 3rd of September will be my last day working for my current employer. 7 years and 7 months. It’s been real. 

August has been real.

Spring traditionally symbolises new beginnings. In many ways, I hope this to be true. 

I am both excited and nervous about embarking on this new journey, and simply typing out this last season of this post is making my heart beat faster. 

Until next time. 

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

Hal Borland

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