The Word Of The Summer…

I’ve been trying to write an ode to the end of the year, but I’ve locked away all those emotions for the time being. I’ve said goodbye to some stellar seniors, with more goodbyes on the horizon, and change is always, well, unsettling.

Which is why I spent two hours after school today shopping.
This will surprise those who know me best, because I hate shopping. And I mean, I hate shopping.
But focusing on finding the right top to go with leggings was the only thing that mattered, especially since it meant I wasn’t focusing on any feelings. Deny, deny, deny–that’s the name of the game right now.
As I drove home, I thought about what happens after this week and all that I need to accomplish this summer. Fixating on an article of clothing and ignoring life isn’t an option in the next ten weeks. I decided I need a theme to keep me from just ending up on the couch binging on Netflix. 
Discipline.
I love the Latin origin of this word: disciplina, meaning instruction or knowledge. In this sense, discipline is the perfect theme for my summer, as much of what I must accomplish falls into the instruction and knowledge category. In fact, synonyms of discipline include train, drill, teach, and coach. All of these verbs will be happening in my life.
I’m ignoring the Middle English definition, which implies self-loathing or punishment. This summer is not about either of those.
It’s never been a strength of mine to create a schedule, a task list, a goal, and stick to it. Especially in these blissful weeks away from my classroom.
I love this story about the power of a password, and as I tell my piano students, the cumulative effect of repetition breeds improvement. 
So starting today, my mantra for the summer is discipline. Every morning, every evening, every minute I start to feel myself slip into the role of a mindless Internet surfbot, I must readjust with discipline. 
That’s not to say I won’t make room for matinee movies, for lunches with friends, for staying in bed until noon reading a fluff novel, or for an occasional afternoon with Netflix. But even with my leisure time, I will need to practice discipline.
So if you see me at Target this summer, trying on maxi skirts or tunics, please ask me what else have I done with my day. And if I can’t provide an answer that convinces you I’ve accomplished anything that falls into that instruction category, kindly wrest the clothing from my hands, walk me to my car, and tell me to get to work.

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