Thursday, August 25, 2022

Blaugust 2022: My Crazy Summer

My summers are usually pretty busy, for reasons I will get into shortly, but this summer has been even crazier than usual.  I've discussed some of these things before in this format, particularly when discussing how I got into playing World of Warcraft in the first place and why I continue, but I'm going to provide a little more background on my personal situation here.  

The first significant change impacting my summer is that I recently changed roles at work, effective May 1st.  I'm in finance for a large U.S. multinational and had been in my previous role for 8 years.  This new position is pretty different from what I was doing before and very different from what I've done most of my career.  It has been a big adjustment.  It also potentially involves much more travel, which I'm not particularly thrilled about at this stage of my career.  So that has added to the insanity of what is almost always a challenging summer anyway.

My youngest two children are both competitive swimmers, and they're both pretty good.  I travel a great deal during the summer for swim meets.  It is not unusual during the summer that I may be out of town for a swim meet for 5 or 6 weekends in a row.  Often, these meets may run over four days, so I will often be leaving Wednesday evening and not returning until late Sunday night.  My middle son ended up qualifying for Junior Nationals this year, which was out in California, while my youngest son qualified for what is called Zones, which meant he was supposed to be in South Bend, Indiana, at the same time.  Because of a medical condition, my wife cannot drive long distances, so if we have the two kids in different cities simultaneously, either our middle son needs to drive himself, or someone needs to ride with a friend.  

Junior Nationals in California was a great experience but exhausting.  His previous swim meet, leading up to that, was a meet called Futures and was in northeast Ohio, about 45 minutes outside of Cleveland.  There was only a day between the two meets.  So we finished the meet in Ohio, drove 3 hours home, and hopped on a flight to California at 8 am the following day.  From around mid-June until August 8th, I was only at home generally two days per week, and for that ten-day period, even less than that.  Trying to take that on in addition to a new position at work really made the summer challenging.

That's my son in the green cap

But wait, that's not all!  The same son that had qualified for Junior Nationals this summer was also preparing to leave for University in the Fall.  We just dropped him off this past weekend.  So the summer was also jam-packed with finding a roommate, signing up for housing, making sure that his AP and transfer credit was taken care of, setting up his schedule, and shopping for everything he'd need to live away from home for the first time.  Our son is attending Carnegie Mellon University, about 3 1/2 hours from home.  He's going to be studying Chemical Engineering and also will be on the university's swim team.  

Finally, our youngest son has also started high school, but instead of going to the same local high school that his brother went to, he decided that he wanted to attend a private Catholic high school about 30 minutes away that many of his friends attend.  So he has spent a chunk of his summer attending a Latin preview class in addition to his usual early morning swim practice.  This new high school also has a water polo team, which he decided he wanted to try.  So, of course, his first water polo tournament of the season was the weekend after we returned from California and Indiana, with the move-in to University coming directly afterward.

I'm also working towards a Masters Degree in Accounting with a concentration in data analytics.  One of the things that I'm thinking about doing as I approach retirement is perhaps teaching college accounting.  And I need this credential to make that happen.  So I also had a summer class I took on top of everything else. 

So that has been my summer.  Despite that, I still managed to find time to play several different games and post about those games in this space.  But that should give you a general idea of why that pace has been slower than usual.  

Tomorrow, I'll post my regular weekly update, covering my initial thoughts on the latest FFXIV patch!



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