The day I close the pool is by far the worst day of the year for me. It’s not that I don’t enjoy fall or have other activities, it’s that I truly love being in the pool.

And I don’t know why.

I feel like maybe when I was a kid it was the one place nothing else mattered. My grandparents had a pool and being at their house was like a vacation from everything. It was my safe place.

These days, it’s a place of calm.

Especially this year, it was where I would go when work was done and it was time to read one of the many books that have helped me on this journey.

There is nothing like jumping into a pool after a workout to cool off fast. Then, float around on a warm day and read.

And now, with not a day in the forecast over 70 degrees, I’m in a race against that big tree to get this thing covered before I’m battling leaves.

So, a weekend priority very soon will be “Close the pool.”

And when I close it, I put a great big period on the summer.

We had too few cookouts and get togethers. We spent too little time just hanging out and enjoying summer days.

Next year, we have to make sure we do better.

I think I said that last year too.

This felt like a lost season with everything going on. It flew by. Too much distraction and too little time to simply enjoy the days.

My goals were keeping things as calm as possible for the kids and my own healing so that I could come back to this business healthy and ready to be of service.

So maybe it wasn’t lost. It was a season to retreat and regroup, to heal and learn.

As the world transitions and the leaves change color, so is life. Not as fast as I would like in some areas – too fast in others.

Covering the pool will feel like closing the chapter of a story that gutted you with emotion. One where you have to stop and put the book down for a bit to collect yourself and take a deep breath. It’s that episode of the TV show where you sit on the couch at the ending credits thinking, “WTF?”

This next season of my life will transition from solitude in the pool to gamedays with my kids and friends, pumpkin patches, and maybe even a date or two with a new person.

I will miss my quiet time in the pool. I will look out my kitchen window counting the days until May when I can open it again. And I will wonder what next summer will bring.

Will pool parties return? Will I have someone to enjoy it with me? Or will my boys crowd me out and take it over the way I secretly hope they will so they have the memories I do?

So begins the season of fire pits and brisket chili, football four days a week and pumpkin beers.

Happy Autumn to you.

Keep moving forward,