Today marks the first of thirty days where I gain an extra 20 hours a week (some weeks a lot more, some weeks a little less) to do whatever I want. Twenty hours where I don’t have anything in particular that I have to do. That’s right, it’s semester break! Astute readers may notice that it’s been quite some time since my last post. My good intentions of posting regularly fell away as the semester went on, consuming every moment of my time. I was either doing work, or actively avoiding doing work, at which time I have no energy to do anything productive, including blog. I’d like to believe it was a particularly hard semester, but I’m not fooling myself. I don’t think there will be any easy semesters from here on out.
But right this moment, I’m indulging in thinking about what I will do in the next 30 days. Being married to a pastor (and having spent my whole life listening to at least a sermon a week from some pastor) has its benefits. There are also downfalls, like thinking of everything in sermon bullet points, best if they start with the same letter or sound. So as I think about what I want to do, I keep finding myself building on letter categories.
In these thirty days, I will: Run, Read, Relax, Rest. Those of you who are Facebook friends–OK, nearly all of you–might recognize that as a status update from last December. I’m feeling particularly creative today, though, and I’ve thought of some more.
First, I’d add Write and Recipes to the Rs. Cooking and writing are very restful to me, and trying out new recipes is always fun, but something I do less when I am very busy.
Or, I was considering:
- Kids, Cook, Creative projects, Coffee, Clean
That one breaks down a little at the end (I’m sure my husband broke out into laughter when he thought about me finding cleaning fun…), so I thought I’d try again.
- Games, Gardening, Groaning with laughter after watching favorite TV shows I’ve neglected
- Sleep, Sun, Scrabble (OK, Words With Friends, but work with me here), Sit around and do nothing (probably most accurate!)
- Dates with my husband, Dreams (as I sleep more)
- Early to bed, Eat, Energy
- Family, Friends, Facebook, Fun
After much consideration, though, I’ve decided to stay with the “th” theme, to connect to my thirty days. Here are my general plans for this semester break.
- Thank. I will thank Carl for being such a wonderful support during this time, and the summer to come. I’m not quite sure what exactly that will look like, but I know he would appreciate help with the laundry, organizing my clutter that has accumulated, and more time spent together in the evenings. Consistent date nights where I’m not thinking about the work I’ll do when I get home will also be attempted.
- Three. This one is for the kids. I try to be present as much as I can, but I know I’m distracted a lot when in classes. So, for thirty days (and then for the two weeks before leaving for boot camp when I am out of school-work), I want to read books, play games, do projects, go to the library, go for bike rides and walks, snuggle more, and spend great time with my three wonderful children. The only activity we currently have going on is soccer for Humorous Thinker, so we’ll have plenty of time together.
- Think. I will leave time to think about whatever I want to think about. It might include topics related to Speech-Language Pathology (let’s be realistic here), but will also include time in Bible study, reading about education, and any other topic which might inspire me. I learned over winter break that it took me time to be able to read fiction, after being so engrossed in studies, and I wasted a lot of time where I just couldn’t get into a book. So this time, I’m starting with nonfiction (first up is that Tiger Mother book I’ve heard so much about), and I might add a fiction book after a week or two, if I find one to inspire. And I will hopefully spend some time thinking and writing, because that is an enjoyable activity for me.
- Therapy. OK, I still have to work during all thirty of these days. But I don’t have enough time at work these days (caseload = over 100!) to really put as much time into planning as I’d like. And it’s the end of the year, which means progress reports soon, and more IEPs than I care to imagine. So to keep myself from feeling stressed out at work, at least a little bit of my thirty days will be devoted to being better at what I love to do.
- Thigh. The only tie-in I could think of for running. I will work my thighs, and the rest of my legs, and my lungs, and throw myself back into running. Though I’ll be busy this summer at boot camp, I want to establish a pattern in the almost-two months before it begins. I know I’ll need the time running when I’m there.
- Thousand. OK, if I do the math, it’s more like 240, but it will feel like a thousand. I want to get a good 8 hours of sleep each night, but I’ll settle for as many as it takes to feel rested. I’ll still drink coffee, but only because I love it, not because I need it.