Tag Archives: Summer Vacation

Winding Down

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I am sad to say that my summer break is almost over. This summer went by faster than any summer in my memory. It was good in many respects, but I am sad to say goodbye to the luxury of time. Recently, I went swimming and had the whole pool to myself. I floated for a long time, and then finished one of my favorite summer books in the sun. 

This summer was busier than I really wanted it to be, and I’m going to have to be cognizant of scheduling less next year. I taught and volunteered. I spent time with people I love. I got a new tattoo. I took lots of naps. I finalized two short stories and submitted them to contests. I ate good food and did a lot of dancing and yoga. I organized my bedroom and bathroom. I was able to slow down. 

I am excited to see students and staff I care about, but am sad to let go of the ease in my days. So often during the school year, I run too hard and over schedule and it leads me to exhaustion. I am hoping to be able to hold on to some of these summer practices, as I move into the coming months. 

There are things that I wanted to accomplish that didn’t happen too.  I wanted to write more and finish a novel this summer. I wanted to complete more short stories and re-organize my whole house. I wanted to find more freelance writing opportunities and make more money. It is easy to berate myself for the things I did not accomplish. Yet I’ve learned it doesn’t serve me to focus on those things. At one point, as I was complaining about not getting more writing finished, a close friend said, “You chose to work and volunteer this summer, so you didn’t have enough time to finish that. You’ll still get it done, just not before you head back to work. ” 

That should have been obvious to me, but it took someone else pointing out that certain choices, made other intentions difficult. And there wasn’t any reason to judge those choices or intentions. When I am honest, I didn’t finish the novel, but I did fix a lot of plot holes and I am in a better position to finish it now. 

I also have continued to build a yoga practice over the summer. I am coming to the mat for exercise, yes, but I also come to the mat to breathe and become more centered. The yoga challenges me and supports me mentally and physically. I still have a long way to go, but I am finding solace in the strength and flexibility I am building. I have come to crave the time spent there, to turn off my brain and slow down. Perhaps yoga is another way of bringing my slowness and intention of summer into my daily life during the busy school year. 

I often feel that my new years observation and reflection revolve around the school year beginning. I think a lot of teachers feel the same. I have been thinking in the past week of all the things I want to do during the year, but in the last couple of days, I have been rethinking building any more “shoulds” into my life. Yes, I want to write more and I am the kind of person who always is loooking for ways to learn and grow, however, this year I want to continue to cultivate a blend of presence and stillness. That means I want to write as often as possible because it’s a part of me and I feel better when I’m doing it. It means that I might also take a nap instead of writing one day because that’s what I need more. I am also going to try my best to continue to let go of my judgment as to what constitutes a good, productive day. 

My personal life is also changing and in anticipation of these changes, I am choosing to build more freedom into my life. A schedule is helpful, but sometimes I get too many things on the calendar and don’t have the freedom to just be spontaneous. I hope I can change that this year. 

Here’s to a beautiful summer that went by too fast. Here’s to a new school year and a continued commitment to whatever feels best to me in the moment. 

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Fertile Soil

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Black and White Garden 2015

Black and White Garden 2015

It’s hard to believe that I have to go back to school in less than a month. This summer has been filled with storms (literal and metaphysical), rest, reflection and growth. I planted an epic patio garden that has flourished from all the rain, I suspect. I have been reorganizing my house all summer. It has been waiting for me for quite some time. It feels wonderful to get things in order.

I know why it’s taken me so long to actually tackle this project. Most of this “stuff” has a great deal of emotional weight and shame attached to it. It also helped that I could shove all of it up in the loft of my apartment, and conveniently forget it was there. I have planned to deal with it for the past two summers, and couldn’t. My procrastination reached rock star level.

I think the possibility of moving in the fall shook me into action. I will not take all this with me somewhere else. I think enough time has passed and I have changed enough, that it is finally possible for me to edit and organize with more distance, less sentimentality and actually move on.

It hasn’t been much fun, but growth rarely is. I will say that I feel lighter when I complete a task and that feeling is leading me to continue and finish – finally. It reminds me of a WIP I have been avoiding as well. I discovered recently that most of what I’ve already written needs to be thrown out. I haven’t been able to get momentum and start back up again with it, but I think that getting my physical world in order is helping my creative world as well. I’ve been brainstorming and plotting. Mulling over changes and character motivation. My imagination is free to roam, now that there isn’t so much clutter.

It seems ridiculous to be sad that I only have 27 more days left of freedom this summer, but I plan to get this organization done and then spend some time among my plants, blossoming.

Light a Fire

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It has taken a couple of weeks of mostly being a sloth, but today I feel rested and I actually had some good productivity. I have been staying up way too late. My night owl soul has had a grand ole’ time with not having a bedtime. I have been up until 2:30 or 3:00 am for at least seven days. It’s easy to lose track of what day it is when you don’t have a bedtime.

Being in class this last week has made me have to be somewhat responsible. I have been enjoying the class a lot. It’s hard to imagine that I’m doing an entire semester worth of work in three weeks, but that is the beauty of summer school. Yesterday it was a little cooler and I sat on my patio for a bit and read outside. It was a little slice of heaven.

I’m settling into a slower way of life. It felt odd at first because I have been on a dead run for so many years. Even though I’m still taking a class this summer, it seems rather strange to have this much leisure time. Today was the first day that I really relished in the knowledge that I can do whatever I please for the next two and a half months.

I have been reading and writing. I think I might have finished a short piece I have been revising for the last year. I’m eating healthy and exercising.

I am lucky enough to be able to participate in a weekly writing workshop this summer. Just reading and doing some of the warm-up activities have lit a fire under me again. I found a book online about outlining and I just got another book that focused on character development and archetypes.

As I come back to my center, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically – I am feeling inspired to create on a regular basis again. I cleaned my house today, did laundry and the dishes. The organization of my surroundings has made me feel more grounded today as well.

I’m excited to keep working on myself and my creative life this summer. I worked incredibly hard this year as a teacher, but having these couple of months of freedom is making it all the more worthwhile.

Talk soon.

Traveling Alone

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I haven’t been here in a very long time…sorry! I have been busy in teacher land, avoiding my writing blog and my writing in general. Same old stuff, but now I am on summer break and I just enrolled in an awesome writing conference that I am super jazzed about.

I have been sleepy –  really sleepy. I think my body is adjusting to not being on a dead run and I am processing my first year of teaching. It was a lot of work, but very rewarding.

I have recommitted to my Morning Pages and have been writting upon waking all this week. It is a nice brain drain and I know it is a healthy part of my writing life that I am ready to get back in place this summer.

I am also working on myself some more and that has been enlightening and terrifying all at once. It’s giving me lots of fodder for future writing as well.

I have been traveling alone for a while, figuratively and literally. Writers can be lone wolves or singular travelers wandering down a windy road. I definitely fall into this writer stereotype.  I don’t think that traveling alone is a bad thing, but it is another way that I isolate and avoid intimacy. Enrolling in this writing workshop is a step out of my comfort zone, but I believe that reaching out to other writers will be good for me.

As one of my favorite K T Tunstall songs  Heal Over says – Everybody sails alone, but we can travel side by side. This resonates with me right now. I am scared to put myself out there, per usual, but I am excited to be pushed this summer with my writing and personally.

I will also be writing and blogging much more. I am not going to promise anything, because those promises have been empty in the past. However, I am planning to do many healthy things for myself this summer and that includes writing.

Here’s to not having a bed time, being pushed out of my box, and feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

Talk soon