Summer vacation is an evolution from the me I am most of the year to a summer someone I don’t quite know yet, but can’t wait to meet. And I’m transitioning from full time teacher to full time do- whatever-I want-to doer. A picker of daisies. A dreamer digging my feet in the beach sand. A collector of shells. A maker of memories. A server of tennis balls and barbecue fresh off the new grill we finally found time to buy. A breather. Free for a bit in the wide, open air of don’t have to.
In the summer, I’m going to do it better. All of it. Every single thing I don’t do well or have let lapse, I’m going to improve. All the projected available time on my hands gives me room for fantasies my brain usually has no space for. I’ll get rid of all that weight I’ve been meaning to lose. I’m sure I’ll start training for the 5k I’d like to run. The books pile high on the nightstand, and I imagine reading all of them swaying in a hammock I don’t even own.
This stage of summer begins in the weeks before school even ends because it starts with thinking about the much better teacher I want to be than the one I was. I’ve had three stress dreams since leaving school seven days ago. Dreams in which I failed – somehow – with a project, a parent, a responsibility. Clearly, I’m processing.
I’m a woman. A teacher. A mother. A Cancer. The first-born in a family of five and always emotionally older than my age. Self-Reflective should’ve been my middle name.
Between the end of June and the end of August, I’m going to fix everything, deep clean every nook and cranny, find a home for all the important stuff, and get rid of whatever’s left.
It’s a mission.
I know. I know. This is about taking back some amount of control. About finding order in a broken and so obviously unpredictable world. So many things -large, small, personal, and worldly – frighten me.
And maybe, just maybe, if I organize our closets, and drawers, and shelves … maybe if neat and tidy replaces disheveled and chaotic, I’ll feel better. More optimistic. Hopeful about the details and decisions beyond my control. I’ll be able to find what I need, when I need it. And most of all – I’ll find peace.
So welcome to summer and I’m going on an explore. (Who said that? Christopher Robin?) Several, in fact. And often.
We’ve already been to Vermont. This week: a new beach, another hike, and a swim in a big, beautiful lake.
I’m going to travel new roads, take more pictures, discover -in writing- what’s yet to be known in my heart.
And I’m going to live every single minute in gratitude.
Because it’s summer.