Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Using vacation time well

One of the greatest perks about teaching is having the summer off. (Although I hear year-round teachers love their schedule.) The great thing for me is that I get to write a LOT! I always write, but what I always want is to get up in the morning and write all day, and just do that day after day after day. But even during summer vacation, I still have to eat well, exercise, do laundry, vacuum, and brush my teeth, etc. So my point is that even when we have down time, there is a long list of must dos.

Why am I throwing the monkey wrench into the notion of vacation? Because I use time better when I'm realistic about all that life requires. The first summer I was off disappeared in the blink of an eye. I had little to show for it. I had this naive notion that time drags during vacation, and I'd have plenty of time. It doesn't drag! It flies! All year I'd waited for the summer vacation to come so I'd have time to get organized, clear the attic, finish the novel, get rid of clutter, etc. But my late starts and daydreaming with three cups of tea took up hours of my days, and suddenly it was all over. I was soooo disappointed.

This is not happening to me this year! I front-loaded a lot of entertainment into my schedule as soon as I got out, and I still have lots of time left! I went to NY, had houseguests, went to a family reunion, and really enjoyed myself. Now I'm writing during morning hours, and researching a good part of the afternoon, and I'm building in the must-dos where they fit in. This is exactly the vacation lifestyle that satisfies my soul.

So if you're lucky enough to have asummer vacation, I nudge you to enjoy every minute of it. And I urge you to prioritize doing the things you really want to do. Otherwise all your time can be spent doing all the things you have to do anyway (like the laundry and dinner and vacuuming) without the satisfaction of using time in the way you intended or that nourishes your spirit. And it doesn't matter whether you have a week, a month, or two months, it's your time to use the way YOU decide. So make decisions about what will give you the greatest satisfaction.


Nardo and I with Walt (Clyde) Frazier at Clyde Frazier's Wine and Dine in NYC.

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