Today was our school’s graduation, and my last official ‘duty’ before being off for the summer. And let me tell you, I relish every. single. second.
This was the second year that a few friends and I went to lunch after graduation to kick-off our official start to summer. I remember last year when we were out to lunch, my friend said, “Right now, this moment, is the very best moment of the whole summer.” My other friends and I were a little confused. Don’t get me wrong – I love my friends – but lunch after graduation was as good as it was going to get? Really?
She went on. “Right now, we still have the whole entire summer in front of us. None of it has passed yet. As of right now, today, we still have the whole thing.”
And that is what I was thinking today. It was a picture-perfect Long Island day. Eighty degrees, sunny, breezy, and no humidity (which NEVER happens). We had lunch outside, walked around town and shopped, ate ice cream, and I got home just as my husband was about to go mountain-biking. I tagged along, and we hit our favorite trail – a gorgeous 13-mile loop – finishing up just as dusk was rolling in.
It felt so good. All of it. Every second. Being free from the insanity that is my life 10 months a year. Spending a breezy afternoon with my girls. Taking the anti-lazy ride with my husband (it’s been 2 years since we have ridden, and man, I felt – and am feeling – every bit of it). Just so good.
I know the rest of the world thinks teachers have it so easy because we get the summer off. And believe me, I am fully aware of the fact that this is a HUGE perk. Enormous.
But truly [insert soapbox here], it is IMPERATIVE for teachers to have this kind of disconnect to get re-charged. Let me tell you, by the end of the year, we are WORN. OUT. Done. I’m not saying people in other occupations don’t get worn out and that they wouldn’t benefit from a long break. I think everyone does and everyone would, quite honestly. But, I’m not gonna lie, I love this part of my job.
[For the record, I didn’t always have summer breaks. At our school, we don’t get paid through the summer, like public school teachers do. So, every summer for the past 11 years, I have had 2-3 part time jobs. And I would go back to work in the fall just about as tired as when I left.
Finally, two years ago, I decided to suck it up and save during the year to have my summers off. It gets tight financially during the year, but it is so worth it. Best decision I ever made. Well, maybe not THE best – but it’s up there.]
Of course, there’s a list. Several lists. Wouldn’t be summer without a list.
There’s the ‘gotta get done’ around the house list:
Painting the fence. Sprucing up the landscaping. Organizing the office. Painting the bedroom. Painting the kitchen (maybe). (If I get motivated). Boring. But necessary.
There’s the fun list: Ok. Long Island has this thing called the Fun Book. It comes out around Memorial Day with our local newspaper, and it’s pretty much the Bible of everything to do on Long Island (I even know some people that will steal it from people’s driveways to get their hands on it!) All that to say, I am working my way through the Fun Book to get my Summer Bucket List going. I mean, people come to Long Island to vacation; certainly, I can take advantage of some of that.
There’s the work list: Yeah, there will be some school stuff; I’m not totally free. I will be writing some curriculum for our Bible Department. I don’t mind that terribly because I love writing and I love the Bible. And I’m getting paid.
There’s the goal list:
I NEED to get better at cooking. I mean, NEED to. Crockpot, healthy, easy, 7-ingredients-or-less, clean-eating – all of it.
I need to get healthier. Do I even need to say this? Eat better, exercise more, blah, blah, blah. This is a given.
Amp up my Bible reading. Spend some intentional, diligent time in intercessory prayer for some specific issues. (I probably should have listed this one first, as, truly, this one is priority).
Amp up my blogging. I went from that NaBloPoMo in March, where I posted every day to blogging maybe once a week – sometimes more, mostly less. I’d like to get more consistent this summer and find a happy medium. Also, I’m coming up on my one-year blogging anniversary next week, so I’d like to re-invent this a bit.
Catch up on some reading. As English Department Chair, I’m fairly (and shamefully) remiss in my working knowledge of various literary classics. I really need to chip away at that ‘must-read’ list.
Other goals? Nah. I’m good.
And there’s yard sales: No list, just yard sales. I’m not sure what category that falls into, but it is definitely happening this summer.
So, that’s my (tentative) summer.
The only downside for me is just how fast it is going to go.
But no talk of that today. It is, after all, the very best day of the whole summer.