It’s that time of year again – the time when a day evaporates in an hour with lazy and hazy being quickly replaced by crazy days. Summer is over.

In recognition of all that vies for our attention and in an effort to find sanity in the midst, welcome to the 1st Annual Back-to-School Office Pool – or call it like it is: Car-Pool. With End of Summer’s tournament in high gear and first rounds completed, we’ve swept through the Sweet 16 in the bracket of what will get attention and what will get back-burnered for another day.

On the left side of the bracket, School Forms hit the ground running – barreling over Orthodontist appointments. Ortho, normally overlooked and quite often forgotten, took its defeat well – resting in certainty that kids across the country are happy with their loss, eager for an excuse to miss class and head their way.

Highly favored School Forms is expected to sweep past fan favorite Lunch-with-Friends as moms struggle to remember dates, times, places and the dreaded completed-then-misplaced forms – a unique struggle for large families. God bless those moms who need three+ rows in their cars just to carry their family alone – so many schools, so many forms.

Pedicure took its loss to Pediatrician well. With summer flying by and Procrastination wreaking havoc, waiting rooms around the city are filled with more frantic filling out of forms – especially those hard-to-get-signed check-ups.

Anchoring the lower half of the left-bracket, a win by Matinee Movie has everyone delightfully surprised. Who knew that a little duck-tape and squished toes could put off another few weeks purchasing new school shoes. Grab the popcorn and enjoy since Pediatrician is the favorite to win.

Moving over to the right side of our bracket, a newcomer has barreled on to the scene with a vengeance. Summer 2018 might as well be called Screen Scene with Fortnite, Instagram and SnapChat enticing summer-goers around the globe. The latter might still find pockets of time throughout a school day – but Fortnite? not so much.

Get ready for Fortnite Detox – poised to vault toward the Final Four, heavily favored to win the tourney. It’s going to be a wild ride. We can already hear the whining. It easily defeated School Sign-ups (thank goodness a good portion take place at the Classroom Coffee). Still, try to remember PTA committee chairmen who need your help – especially since Fortnite Detox is likely going on in their homes too.

Haircuts went down in a nail-biter to School-Supplies shopping. Because, truth be told, we can do a quick home trim with the scissors before they find their spot in the cool pencil bag purchased when lines were short. Getting-Up-Early followed suit as Summer Reading turned up the heat with papers and exams literally around the corner.

At the bottom of the bracket, Healthcare providers are happy Mammogram made the tournament. The yearly exam fought hard to land a spot but went down without a fight when Clothes-Shopping brought to the game all sorts of sample give-aways – then dealt an especially low blow when they invited School Shoes to team up taking advantage of a little-known rule that okays multi-tasking.

Though Back-to-School hype might tempt us to be overwhelmed by all the do’s and be’s, expectations and pressures, why sit back for a moment and grab perspective. The bracket is the same every year. Sure it’s Fortnite this year, but remember the Minecraft craze or even the days of Webkinz. We survived and will survive this year – maybe even thrive as we put it all in its place.

Let’s take the opportunity to rise above Back-to-School madness as we

  • Live today’s day, respect tomorrow’s worries and expectations as well as yesterday’s happenings, but don’t let them over-inform and steal from today.
  • See the person traveling alongside – trying to catch their breath, not sure where they’re supposed to be either – then walk with rather than against them.
  • Look up. Move the focus away from Back-to-School crazies, toward perspective – and allow the fact that we’re human beings not human doings diffuse activity’s onslaught.
  • Consider slowing things down a bit, something that brings with it a little sanity even in long lines and traffic.

Then maybe we can actually enjoy the rest of our alarm-free days – knowing that the first week or two of school will be painful, physically painful – but never losing sight of all the terrific people walking alongside. Because truth be told, the days go by way to fast. So why not enjoy every one of them – and maybe sneak in a quick-grab lunch with friends! Since at the end of the day, it’s actually the people that matter most.

Thanks for walking the road with me.

– Kay

SHAMELESS-PLUG ALERT – b/c there’s more on the subject…

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