Today is August 1 and a Monday, which makes it a quality day to do some reflecting on the past 9 weeks of my life.
It was a good summer.
I didn’t take classes or do any traveling. I wasn’t beholden to a schedule that made me feel the rigidity of the school year. I slept in until 9 or later more than once, and when I woke up before 9, I stayed in bed and read books or watched Netflix.
More than once I didn’t shower until noon.
I didn’t see as many films in the theater as I wanted to, but I saw several movies courtesy of Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix (both streaming and old-school). I caught up on television shows I didn’t have time or energy for during the school year.
I read 15 books.
I spent time with my nieces and nephews and my parents and my friends. I visited places in Nebraska I never knew existed. I presented at a conference.
I wrote 23,776 words of a book I’m working on. I wrote a 2100 word essay and submitted it for a publication.
I learned the value in taking purposeful, creative breaks, I was a counselor at a high school journalism camp, and I started a podcast with a couple of friends.
I haven’t had many summers like this–I’m usually packed from start to finish. And the one summer I wasn’t, I did so very little that I started the school year hating myself for wasting all that time.
Of all the things I accomplished this summer, the most important was this: I learned how to relax with purpose, how to create without pressure.
In May, I made a list of everything I wanted to do in my time off. I didn’t cross off every item off that list, and that’s okay. Now, on August 1, it’s time to return to my school list, the one I start every Sunday night and add to it every day, hoping by Saturday most of the items are checked off.
And this school year, I’m adding movies and books and breaks to my list.