The smell of routine is in the air

QUEENSLAND schools start back next Tuesday and with it comes the official end of summer holidays. In one short week we will already be reeking in routine.

Even those of us without kids feel the change – increased traffic at certain spots and times around the Coast, decreased atmosphere and vitality around our city’s hotspots, decreased retail spending, and all talk of fun and summer quickly becomes past tense.

The Gold Coast is about to make the transition from fun summer holiday destination to just home. It turns out that reality catches up with us and becomes normal, even when we live in paradise.


As the reality sets in and we prepare for the real start of 2015, you may notice yourself – or your kids – going through these six phases:

1. Excitement. Having a fresh start can be a good thing. We can set new goals and put new habits and practices in place for the school or work year – it is almost like another chance at a New Years Resolution.
2. Mourning. During summer, optimism is inherent. The days are free to fill, the colours are brighter, the opportunities more exciting; fun and spontaneity comes naturally. That is about to come to an end and will be replaced by the same, same for the most part of the week. That realisation is crushing.
3. Panic. Knowing that the end is near, you make one last push to do everything that you meant to fit in during the holidays. Movies, beach, bush walks and shopping, there is one last flurry of activity before life settles in for the year ahead.
4. Resignation. The inevitability of it all makes its mark on your conscience and you cross the threshold into the school grounds or office building for the year ahead.
5. Exhaustion. There are emails waiting, decisions that need making and a frantic pace that leaves you feeling sluggish and second guessing yourself.
6. Acceptance. After a week, you settle in, get up to speed and get with the program. It is as if you never took a break really.

Help reach that place of acceptance by easing back into routine slowly. Don’t overload your schedule straightaway, keep the holiday feel alive with a mid-week trip to the beach and don’t make any drastic decisions in that first week.

Heads down, go!

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