End of Summer Blues: Things I Failed to Accomplish

Teachers–ever feel that you need a vacation to recover from summer? That’s how I feel today.

I had a list, “Things to Accomplish This Summer.” Nothing is done.

First, I promised my friend Claudia I’d finish “The Book I Wonder if Anyone Will Read.” It’s not done. I removed spelling mistakes, inserted paragraphs and line breaks so my other friend won’t cry, and added a ton more sarcasm. Progress.

I planned to clean out the cellar. Also not done. In the spirit of good intent, I rummaged through a couple of boxes, consolidating and repacking them. I see a small dent in the pile. The size of dent that’d require the “f” word if a carriage dinged your car, but wouldn’t cause you to fix it.  There’s a path to the holiday decorations. Progress.

I failed to do my canning and preserving. To be fair, some of this was Mother Nature. The B-grade (irregular shaped, end of season, cheap) produce conspires to be ripe when I’m back in school. Something about harvest season which cannot be changed, even with the addition of global warming. School starts Monday. I’ll be moonlighting making your jams and salsas. I’ve contacted my farmer at least. Progress.

Some other things I didn’t do this summer: I didn’t see my sister’s new house in DC or visit my brother in Virginia. I wanted to, but I was tired. Not running around the universe seemed like the better deal. Teachers never listen to the urge to rest–there’s always 26 hours of work that must be done by tomorrow. When the calendar appears to give us a break, we insert something else. This summer, at the risk of being a bad family member, I didn’t travel much. Cutting down the schedule…progress.

Declan rides a stegosaurus.

Declan rides a stegosaurus.

We did fun, local things like Dinosaur Park in Connecticut. It has dinosaur statues, a water sprinkler park, maze, and a playground, and gem mining if you mortgage your house. Grandpa paid because he lost a bet to Declan, something about “You won’t eat a string bean.”  Never bet against six-year old in a high-stakes bet. This was a classic “house always wins” for Declan. Not that he’s eaten a string bean since. Eating veggies, having fun…progress.

We came back, driving under the biggest full moon I’ve ever seen. Turns out, it was a blue moon, a rare occasion–a concession from Mother Nature apologizing for the fruit delay. I unloaded the car, blue sky fading into black outlining the silhouettes of the trees, bats circling overhead. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a bat, other than the ones that live in my own belfry. Stopping to enjoy nature…progress.

Bats were always a favorite of mine. For four years, we lived in an old Victorian with a cracked attic window, where bats slept out the day. I enjoyed watching them hang upside down an inch from my nose. I love watching them fly more. Flying bats remind me of…me. Never flying in a straight line, they always look like they’re going to crash into something. They flit from place to place, in a zig-zags, and circles, avoiding trees. I wonder how they can survive. They look so scattered.

Yet, like me, they seem to get everything done–they eat, they fly, they sleep. Nice to see them flapping around at the full moon preparing for Halloween like a stock clerk setting out pumpkins and witches for the American consumer long before Labor Day.

Kripalu Center, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. You should go there.

Kripalu Center, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. You should go there.

I accomplished one thing on my list–another Kripalu yoga retreat. The retreat helped reconcile my failure to accomplish everything else with the true meaning of life.  Just as not accomplishing my summer list is an annual event, a yoga retreat to forgive myself will become one. Cyndi Lee presented “Strength, Stability and Clarity,” three things I can use in life.

I have three days to finish everything on my list and contemplate the beginning of the school year. I’m filing this under “Not gonna happen.” What will happen–I’ll take a minute to contemplate balance, so I can better understand the blessings my family, friends, and students bring to me, and save the extra time for them. Progress.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “End of Summer Blues: Things I Failed to Accomplish

  1. I ditched my to-do list halfway through the summer because I was tired and stressed. Next summer, I will not make one. I think the successful summer for me has to be one that evolves from what I feel like doing/accomplishing on any given day. There were things on there that I wanted to do but did not feel like doing. Once I let go of the list, I was happier. I worked with colleagues on a Summer Grant to explore alternative grading systems. We agreed after our first meeting to read and study for our second meeting. We did not. Instead we did other things. But yesterday our second meeting was the most productive day. It turns out we needed a break to be productive, not preparation. My house is not as clean as I had planned, either. On the bright side, soon I will be too busy to notice!

    • Yeah, that’s true…”soon be too busy to notice.” I am still so, so tired… hope the last three days will be the last bit of energy I need, though. It’s going to be a whirlwind.

  2. Sounds to me like you did a lot and made great progress with regard to being present for you and your family. I struggle with the too quick passage of time and the difficulty with staying present and the frustration of not getting my to-do list accomplished. I’m right there with you! Good luck with the first day of school and the upcoming school year. We don’t start until the 9th.

    • I tried. I think that yoga helped…I think it’s awesome for many reasons:) I’m not really prepped for school–just got my schedule, but we’ll see… I am determined that this will be a year of fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s