There are just 31 physical days left between me and the sweet toe stretch of summer. Of those 31, just 17 require me to be an active teacher. Every year, around this particular time of year, I begin to create lists of things I want to get accomplished during the summer. Goals, if you will. My fear is always that the summer will pass and I’ll have nothing to show for it. Last summer was all about Olive and pure indulgent laziness—although I did do a fitness boot camp. Long hours spent lounging and watching the entire Sex and the City television series. While it was genuinely wonderful to while away the hours, I’d like to be just a tad more productive this time around.
So, in keeping with my Type-A nature, and my need to make lists and cross items off, here is my “To Do” list for the summer:
- Take Olive on many, many leisurely walks.
- Do yoga! This is a new one for me. I bought a pass off of the ingenious Groupon website for unlimited use of a yoga studio. I can take as many or as few classes as my little heart desires in the month of my choice. My choice is July.
- Finish my writing/craft room.
- Pretty up the laundry area. The cinder block walls are an ugly pale green. I have visions of purple, and I’d even like to go as far as painting the outside of the utility sink. Maybe add some flowers and butterflies...
- Eat well. Now, before you go an exhale with an eye roll, I’d like to make the case that it’s never to late to get back on the healthy train. I had a relapse this last month, but have gotten it back together. I want to use the summer and all the yummy fruits available to me to get myself square and plumb when it comes to food.
- Enjoy my elliptical machine. That’s an easy one!
- Seek out and try new recipes.
- Seek out new music.
- Listen to more This American Life podcasts…or better yet, catch it live!
- Take one trip. It doesn't have to be big, and it probably won’t be. I’m thinking something along the lines of Amish country. Maybe a couple of nights at an Amish run B&B. I’d love to find an Amish made rocking chair that can be used, someday, in a nursery...
- Read, read, read, and read some more. I believe there are roughly 12-15 books I have purchased over the course of the school year that are patiently waiting my devouring eyes.
- Rethink and revise my wardrobe. The recent lbs. I have shed and the ones I’m planning on shedding will allow me to perk up my clothes. Don’t need nuthin' fancy, but I definitely would like to inject a little more femininity and cuteness into my choices.
- Watch movies. I’m such a movie watcher. Thank god for Netflix.
- Write. I’m going to attempt to make it a point to write every single day. Be it for five minutes or fifty.
For as much as my job can frustrate the living hell out of me, I am grateful for this imminent time off to reconnect with myself and catch my proverbial teacher breath. The more years I teach (this is the end of year no. 7), I realize how important summer is in the life of an educator. For 10 months we’re expected to be ON. What most people can’t grasp is that teaching is not all about just teaching. If it were, then maybe summer might not be so critically necessary. But teaching, real teaching, is just one small tiny component of our daily lives. We are master jugglers tending to ten million issues at once. The respite summer brings, really and truly, is necessary. We are systems overloaded by June, and when we leave our classrooms for the peace and quiet of July and August, that is our shutdown and quiet time, the rebooting necessary to come back in September, bright-eyed and willing to jump into the trenches once again.