Today- with less than five days of summer to go- I looked at my To Do list from June.
The number of things not-crossed-off is STAGGERING.
I had the whole summer, people. For the first time since I was 15, I wasn’t working a job all summer. TpT (and my husband’s job) have finally made it so that I could take a summer break, and I had such grand plans to get so much done!
If I didn’t do this stuff during the summer, when am I supposed to do it?
I’m looking around our apartment and thinking, “Summer was supposed to be my time to catch up and actually clean up this place!” annnd yet my dresser is still piled with clean clothes to be put away, my coffee table is covered in papers to file, and my bathroom counter is a disaster area. I really should have done that.
And the appointments. With my school’s hours and my commute, I leave the house around 8 and get home around 5. The summer is the perfect time to fit in every appointment with my doctor, eye doctor, dentist, accountant, etc.- and I got maybe half of them made and done. Definitely should have made that happen.
Did I mention I should have gotten my car fixed during the only extended time during the year when I don’t need to drive it every day?
And don’t get me started on all the things I should have done for school.
Even worse? There are FUN things I didn’t do!
Pool day? Totally doable- part of our apartment rent pays for pool access and I can literally walk to it- but NOPE. I didn’t go to the pool ONE time this summer.
Amusement park? There’s a nice one less than half an hour from me, and I didn’t spend even one day riding roller coasters and eating blue ice cream.
Zoo? I love living in a city with a great zoo. I thought I might get a membership and go a few times… but I never even made it there once.
There were so many things I should have done! Recipes to be tested. Crafts to try. Blog posts to write. Products to make. Places to visit. Letters to write. Workouts to do.
Seriously! June, July, and half of August, and what do I have to show for it?
I am relaxed.
I am refreshed.
I am ready and excited to go back to work!
I can look at all those things I should have done this summer, or I can look at what I did do. I was a little productive- but I also slept in. I read books. I went on vacation. I hiked. I took naps. I spent time with friends. I took photos. I binge-watched a TV series. I wasted hours on Pinterest. I spent full days in pajamas. I ate ice cream like it was my job.
Most importantly, I spent time with those I care about. I hung out with my husband (who works second shift, so I don’t see him much on weekdays during the school year). I spent hours every day with our newly adopted dog (who is the CUTEST thing and loved every second). I visited family , hosted friends, and met new friends, too.
Simply put? I made summer break a BREAK- and honestly, I don’t regret it much.
Teachers give, give, give through the school year. Sure, the average person doesn’t get it- but beyond the hours I spend at school (too many), I come home with a bag full of work, a mind that can’t stop brainstorming, and a heart still stuck on worrying about my kids. Never mind the stress of new standards, new teacher evaluation systems, drama with co-workers, and all of the other complications we face. I love what I do- but (probably like most teachers) loving it so much and caring so much means that I run myself ragged sometimes. It’s hard to not pour your entire soul into teaching, and it’s as exhausting as it is fulfilling.
And by the summer, sure, it feels like I should have used that time to catch up- but what I really needed was a break, and I am so glad (for once) I took it.
So despite that To Do list nagging me about the summer that “should have” been, I can honestly say that I will be a BETTER teacher to my kids this year because I gave myself a true break this summer.
And I’ll be happier, too.