Making Maki is the home of Maki B. It’s where all of life’s parts meet. Figuring out the work-life balance, managing finances, navigating relationships, finding the things that give us joy, appreciating life’s journey and caring for ourselves along the way. Making Maki isn’t about finding any particular thing; it’s about always searching for the best versions of ourselves and making the most of all of life’s lessons and opportunities.

Fun fact: I truly enjoyed school. When I say I enjoyed school, I mean I loved it. From the lectures to the presentations to the homework assignments, I truly loved everything that went into my educational experience. Okay, that wasn’t completely honest – I didn’t always enjoy the non-educational aspects of it all. I could have done without having to write lines, timed running tests and that time I had to stay late for using my phone (Nokia 3310) in class. I probably could have also done without the awkward teenage and young adult interaction, but that seems to be a core part of the experience once you leave the home schooling realm.

Setting my own school memories aside, I’ve had school on the brain for the last few days. Next week, some of the amazing young men in my life (they aren’t my own, but I love them as though they were) will be heading back to school and I’m excited for them. My young nephew will be closing out his elementary school days pretty soon. My godson will be heading into his first year of high school, while another nephew is heading into his last.

Though they are at different ages and stages in their lives, this new school year offers them all new opportunities to change the courses of their lives. A first year of high school can be a friendly reminder that we can’t get too comfortable. From four or five subjects in elementary school, to between 10 and 13 in high school, that first year can also be an introduction to life’s major assessments and a lifelong fight to find balance.

On the flip side, the beginning of the last year of high school signifies the close of a major book. That last year asks you what you learned over half a decade or more. It also gives you a finite period of time to ask yourself what’s next. This particular what’s next is one of the most important in my opinion. The end of high school can lead to the workforce, education of a whole other kind of maybe a mixture of the two. Whatever it turns out to be, the start of the final year of high school is the ideal time to plan it out.

Though I’m mentioning the first and last years, in no way am I skipping over the middle where the fun really happens. Those years in between are crucial to figuring your own strengths and least favourite things. (I try to avoid saying “weakness” because I feel that we can train ourselves to improve in most areas if we try, thereby eliminating the casual notion of “weaknesses” as we see them.) Maybe you find out you’re a math and science kid and take over STEM. On the other hand, you could be like me and struggle thru the sciences and thrive elsewhere.

Those years in between are where we start to make our marks. My second year was where I figured out that I care more about people and their stories than I do about metabolic rates or the periodic table of elements (sorry, Mr. Davis). The start of my third year was when I made my commitment to the social sciences and the start of my fourth was when I started the rough (like really rough) sketch of my life.

Every year matters and the start of each year is a chance to adjust and change course into your intended paths. This new school year is a chance to start a new book or open a fresh chapter in an ongoing book. With that, I’ll close out with my hopes for a great school year all across the land. May the books be ready, the school buses on time, and desires to teach and learn at the centre of every day.

Oh! And don’t forget to agenda, so you can plan it all out and stay on top of things.