No summer, for me, has been as eagerly anticipated as the summer of 2019. This is our first summer living in a beach community, we are on a tidal creek, we bought a boat, and I will be starting a new job in the fall. Except here, “fall” starts for me on August 12. That’s right. Summer is over in nine days.
So what did I spend all of this time doing? As it turns out, I ended up getting quite a bit accomplished. Except enjoying the long, relaxing days with no commitments and gorgeous weather. I took a week-long graduate course, the final one in my ESL (English as a second language) cohort. After that, I spend ten days studying and practicing for the Praxis test, the passing of which is a requirement for my new job. I took and passed it on July 1. This still leaves plenty of summer for relaxing, right? Six glorious weeks. And while I’m enjoying them, I thought, I will finish unpacking the rest of the boxes from our move. Uh-huh. I will organize my office and create an easy system of filing and storing paperwork. Sure.
First, however, I needed to take a look at that list of required paperwork for my new position. Seems I had forgotten about an online training and a hands-on CPR/FirstAid/AED certification (another one). Fingerprinting at my new local jail (don’t ever let anyone tell you teaching isn’t a glamorous occupation). A current TB test. Asking the NBPTS board for a second time to send me the renewal certificate that didn’t arrive before I moved. Little things, no big deal.
Also had to get the annual doctors’ appointments out of the way; as a new employee I don’t want to take too much time off. So appointments with the primary care physician, the GYN, the dentist, the eye doctor, the mammography imaging center, and a minor surgery with a follow-up went on the calendar. Also a trip to New Jersey for my niece’s graduation, a weekend in Maine for the wedding of a dear friend’s son, and a glorious five days in Spokane with my daughter, my son-in-love, and my beautiful two-year-old granddaughter. Two trips to Northern Virginia to see my son, my daughter-in-love, and my beautiful one year old granddaughter.
With the approaching week being my last week off, the only things remaining on the calendar are the mammogram, eye doctor, and follow-up visit. Also must cross the bridge again to get the hair done (a must, every three weeks). A meeting at my new school has been added. I still need to paint four small rooms and a short hallway.
The few days I have had or times I’ve made for fun in otherwise busy days have been worth the effort and the move. There were a few days I slept in until I felt like getting up. We love the boat and are learning how to navigate the bay. We can still do that once school starts. We have kayaks ready for use on the dock. Soon. The beach will still be there, and with the waning summer it will become less crowded. I’ve spent some time in the pool. Yesterday alone my back was sore so I spent four and one-half hours in the hot tub, reading a novel from cover to cover. The unpacked boxes, the painting, and the organizing will always be here for me. Comforting. My challenge this year, as it has been for the past several, will be to set limits on work. To take more time for myself and my family. To do more personal writing. To enjoy what we’ve worked so hard for. I wish us all a renewed sense of commitment to free time and loved ones; teachers, parents, clerks, medical professionals, accountants, first responders, all of us. If you’ve already mastered this art, please comment and let me know how!