I am on summer break from school. Officially… this is my second day of vacation, but I have not had students for a week. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
I hear in the back of my mind the voices of people who muttered….” Teachers…. three months off; must be nice.” I hear my friends say, “Great! Now you can de-stress and relax.” I hear myself wondering, “What am I going to do?”
What is going on? Isn’t this the time when I get to do everything I did not have time for during the school year? Isn’t the pressure off with a less structured day to day and no papers to grade? Shouldn’t I be sleeping better, be outside all the time, playing with my kids and writing my book? Instead, I sit down at my computer and run through all the favorites (news, facebook, and yes… school email) and wander a bit through the house looking for the things to do that go on the list of the things to do. I even did a search for “teacher bored during summer.” The article suggested it takes nearly three weeks to really allow yourself to unwind from the academic year and properly recharge.
Three weeks? But I have a history conference next week on the relationship between the US and China that will inform my Comparative Politics class next year. I have a two-day meeting in Sacramento on teacher preparation programs and a three day IB conference in Toronto, Canada for my Theory of Knowledge class. Those events and the remainder of this week comprise my first three weeks of summer vacation.
Unwind? At my house?
My husband works mostly from home. We have three boys and two dogs and between meals, cleaning, rides to athletic practices, managing the children’s friends and the locations…. I don’t feel like I have much time and the house is always a bit hectic. I don’t get alone time…. except when I take a walk. I tend to succumb to demands instead of making my own. I have things I want to do… but I don’t push for them. Sometimes I don’t want to spend the money… sometimes I don’t feel worthy… sometimes it just takes too much effort to make things happen.
I make lists…. tasks and lofty goals go on the list and I enjoy checking things off the list. But I don’t want to be defined by my own itemization. Right at this moment, I don’t know what else to do. The summer list of goals and activities serves as both a reminder and a motivator: I actually have some time to get things done. I have time to do things. My challenge is figuring out how I want to define my summertime. When I look back at the summer of 2012, how will I describe it?
“Did you have a good summer break?” Yes. Absolutely.
There was a fleeting moment today when I thought… “I just want this day over so I can try again tomorrow.” What will be different tomorrow? I asked the kids if they wanted to go the beach… they want to hang out at home with friends. I’ll go grocery shopping and do laundry and make sure the house is picked up. Tomorrow is filled with opportunities and closes my first week of summer vacation. Tomorrow, I’ll sleep in a bit, add to the list, write some, and play with my kids.
But right now….I think I will go for a walk.