Other Stuff, Teaching

What Did You Do Over Summer Vacation?

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. Today is my last day of summer vacation. Each summer, I start off with lofty expectations of balancing time spent unplugging my brain for a bit with tackling projects I never have time to do during the busy school year. When the blessed last day of school arrived at the end of May, I was prepared with my mental to do list.

Summer started with a trip to the beach, which is always a nice respite. Seafood, sunshine, and waves do a lot to replenish my soul. I then returned with nine open weeks in front of me. Wow! Nine whole weeks to do what I wanted to do! Luckily, I accomplished several of my plans…

  1. Read a stack of books: I read 17. I would say that is a pretty decent stack. Check!
  2. Visit my family and have a quality, meaningful visit: I have spent my entire adult life 500 miles from home. This summer, we were able to spend several days with my husband’s parents in June, and a whole week with mine in July. It was nice to just hang out with my mom, live my best auntie life, and hug the people I love most. Check!
  3. Go on new adventures: We went to the aquarium, celebrated our anniversary at a goat farm, saw five baseball games in three different cities, and took an incredible trip to the Rockies, full of beautiful scenery, delicious food, and seeing Josh Groban at Red Rocks. Check!
  4. Get a new tattoo: I made an appointment and pulled the trigger on a phrase I have been pondering for several years. Check!

There were so many moments of the summer that I will treasure forever. I am grateful to have the time and resources to do cool things on occasion, and to have a partner who enjoys doing all of them with me. It really is quite remarkable how many mountaintop experiences (sometimes, literally) that we have been able to share.

With all of that excitement, I somehow feel a bit melancholy and let down by all of the things I didn’t do. I think probably because most of these are my self-improvement-type tasks.

  1. Get back into a blog-writing routine: I had every intent of visiting thrift stores, finding exciting Plus Size content, making connections, and publishing twice a week. In the end, I published one post.
  2. Re-establish a walking routine: Ummmm… I hate walking when it is hot outside. Air conditioning is my friend. Try again in the fall?
  3. Deep clean every room of the house: I bought a lot of supplies and worked hard… in two rooms… which is less than 30% of my house.
  4. Do all the painting projects: I have lived in my house for 20 years and I am tired of the color scheme I chose then. There are five items on my repaint list. I didn’t do a single one.
  5. Be a superstar teacher and make lots of plans: I made some… last week.

Overall, it was a GOOD summer, I promise. I know that I am fortunate and I did have the chance to renew my mind. However, because of the way I am wired, I struggle with summer vacation. I need people. I like people. During summer, I spend a lot of time alone and that makes me feel… I don’t know… pointless. (There’s a lot to unpack there.) I’m ready to get back to the classroom and have a feeling of purpose, like someone actually needs me.

Maybe I will get some of the rest of the list done on a long weekend… if someone volunteers to help. Maybe the list will get pushed back to next summer, where I will start the motivation fight again. Sigh…

Goodbye summer vacation. Here’s hoping that the 2022-2023 school year is a good one.

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