A Summer Lesson.

I begin another year of teaching this week, full of ideas and goals and…fears. Last night I dreamed I was being beaten by someone I did not know, and the dream was so vivid, I finally forced myself awake so I could slow my heartbeat and feel safe again. This post is not about dream analysis, though–it’s about something I learned this summer that I hope to carry through my school year:

I have lots of time, and I don’t always use it well.

I realized that on the days I get home at 4 p.m., I have six or seven hours to use. Too many times, I fall into the social media wormhole and I emerge, bleary-eyed and despondent, six or seven hours later with literally nothing to show for it. This summer, I learned that there is time enough for all the things I want to do, if I make time for them to happen.

So today after meetings, I went to the library and checked out some books for this challenge. I came home and started to read one of those books and felt sleepy. So I laid down and rested for 20 minutes. I checked in on social media for 10 minutes, then I made dinner, did dishes, made lunch and breakfast for tomorrow. I watched a movie. Now I am writing with the Olympics on in the background, and I will exercise for a bit and probably read for a bit longer.

I have read contradicting pieces about work-life balance. Some argue that it’s imperative to establish rigid work-life balance practices. Some argue that life is just life, and trying to achieve balance is pointless. I know there will be days I have to work a bit longer hours than I did today. I know I will have days when the pull of my couch and Netflix is just a bit too strong. But I also know that with a bit more focus, more of my time after school can be spent purposefully enjoying things I value.

I’m guessing it will also help me sleep a bit better, too, knowing my time is well spent, rather than beating myself up over time wasted.

He Knows Me Well.

My Uncle Brent called me last weekend, just to chat. During our conversation, he asked me what my summer plans were.

“Oh, I’m taking this summer off. I’ve had two really busy summers in a row, so I deserve a summer in which I do nothing,” I said.

He laughed. “You? Do nothing? Come on, you’re doing something, going somewhere, right? Utah? Come to California!”

But I was insistent: “No, I really am just going to relax and not do much this summer.”

I’ve been thinking about that conversation all week, and my uncle is right–I’m just not the type to do nothing. So I’ve done a little research into what I can do this summer, and I think I found a perfect plan:

  1. Become a Google Certified Teacher. There’s some webinars and an exam to take, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and summer would be a good time to do it.
  2. Explore Nebraska.  It’s time for me to accept that I am a Nebraskan, and as such, I need to know more about my state. This program looks absolutely delightful, plus ripe for blogging fodder.

So there you have it, my summer plans. Should be a good time.