Saturday, June 06, 2009

Summer: the double-edged sword

One of the best things about teaching is its cycle of open and close, renewal, and fresh starts--every year a new chance, a change. As the season turns and another school year closes, my mind turns to new opportunities and summer studies.

It's hard to refute the stereotype of teachers getting "three months off" a year, especially since I have worked in the private sector and know the pain of an entry-level job that accrues a mere week or two of "Personal Time Off," or PTO, a year.  For most, PTO time is intended to cover both sick and vacation leave, and the corporate lackey also receives, grudgingly, a few national holidays, which stud the calendar like raisins in a pudding (an image I think I just stole from Louisa May Alcott.  Or someone).

That said, my husband and I have had very few summers "off."  Either he, or I, or both have taken classes, worked a second job, or some combination of the two every summer for the past twelve years.  

This summer, though, marks a milestone:  No classes.  No summer work.  Just family time, and lots of it.

All this freedom?  Oh no!

My summer could look like this:
  1. Read classics I've always meant to read; study Anna Karenina with friend Michelle
  2. Bike or run every day; look amazing
  3. Finally develop that rhetoric/linguistics unit for my AP class that's been half-baked in my mind for two years
  4. Refinish bedroom dressers (only 12 years late) and finally get rid of horrific yellow wallpaper in master bedroom
  5. Weed-free garden; clutter-free home; healthy organic meals daily
Or, it could look like this
  1. Eat crap, gain (more) weight
  2. Futz around on computer, wasting hours per day
  3. Procrastinate on school because "I have so much time until September"
  4. Dither over house projects and end up starting many, but leaving several half-done

How do I make option A happen and option B go away?


Clumsy Knitter said...

Oh man, that's a tough one. I've been struggling with the same problem since I've been unemployed. The key (for me) has been to make a plan of what I want to accomplish the next day, and don't do any relaxing until I get it done. Some days I have long lists, some days I just have to go for a run and do the dishes. Just remember that it is your vacation, so don't feel too much pressure to accomplish everything!

Toni said...

If you get yourself to do Option A, be sure to pass on your secret to me!!!!

Anonymous said...

If only I had success in my own Option A aspirations to share! Maybe pick one or two on the A-list to focus on and let yourself relax with the fam and not think about it too much otherwise. I say get into those tasty organic meals and your body will still thank you even if nary a pound decides to run along to some other lady's body. :)