Hello and happy September. It was so nice to hear from those who reached out after last month’s issue to tell me that they liked hearing about the trips I’ve been lucky enough to take lately. One in particular (George) commented that he doesn’t particularly like traveling but reading about our adventures may inspire him to think about visiting foreign lands once again. George, while I applaud that goal, my latest trip probably shouldn’t serve as your first foray back in. Two of my oldest friends and I decided to go down to Mexico for a boys’ surf trip. This was when the Delta variant wasn’t quite so prominent, yet Covid precautions were in full force. Not sure we had much to worry about on that front, though, as our accommodations were rather, hmm, remote. Imagine a hut on the beach about an hour outside any nearby town.

After the first two days we had run out of fresh food so we sustained ourselves the rest of the week on a few dry sandwiches a day. WiFi vacillated between spot ty and nonexistent. There was running water but no a/c. Mosquitoes and humidity were abundant. Even for an ardent traveler such as myself, staying here was tough. If it wasn’t for the exceptional surfing conditions and companionship of two of my oldest, closest friends as co-adventure-seekers, I probably would’ve cut the week short. But focusing on the positive has always been one of my strengths and in doing so managed to appreciate what a gift it is to be able to head out to the middle of nowhere and surf every day with guys I’ve known since ages 11 and 13, respectively. Regardless of the minimal comforts our ‘hotel’ offered or how the only locals we encountered were enormous cows that happened to wander down the beach one day, we had an undeniably fabulous time.

The positive outlook I try to maintain also helps when I recognize that September is upon us and that means I’m turning another year older. Birthdays for me are often weird. They usually bring about feelings of panic at advancing age, questions about what I’ve done with my life and where I am going. They make me a little sad, missing people in my life who are no longer here, most notably my mom. However, I’m really trying to embrace my birthday this year because after living through a pandemic, it’s nice to pause and appreciate having another birthday to celebrate. I also feel extremely happy that my three boys are back to in-person school again. Yes, there are obstacles and hassles to endure: Covid testing each week, masks, daily symptom checks, assigned seating for potential contact tracing. But the benefits so far outweigh the negatives, we are all willing to ignore the annoyances for the greater good. You can’t compare learning from a computer at home to being in the same classroom as a real life teacher; not to mention how much better it is being with kids their own age again instead of hanging out with their parents every day. I hope as we move into fall, everyone stays healthy so they are able to stay on their respective campuses. Who would’ve thought a few years ago I’d be hoping for something so elementary (no pun intended)?

So with September comes the end of our relatively care-free summer months of camps, barbeques and swim parties, getaway adventures and spontaneous beach days with the boys. It’s back to the grind a bit but that’s OK. If it were not for working hard, how else could we appreciate the recreation that comes from taking much needed breaks? And luckily, living in this beautiful city with its great weather, our good times don’t have to end just because school is back in session and it’ll start getting a bit darker earlier. I’m grateful that our wi- fi is much stronger than it was in Mexico. The cell service here is superior, too (although there are pockets of Cheviot that could use a little help). All that to say: as long as I can faithfully and successfully attend to all my clients’ needs, I can also make time for the occasional midday surfing session , too. And on those special days, summer doesn’t have to end.