I have never thought of being anything other than a teacher. However, I swear my reasons were not related to summer and having a several week long vacation every year. I also did not consider how often people would ask me the question: How do you stay busy in the summer?
To all my fellow teacher friends: Only we know that a 100% acceptable answer to this question will always be: absolutely nothing. However, I am definitely someone who operates better when she is busy so I have tried for my seven years as a teacher to always have a balance between filling my schedule and making sure to take time for myself. It is it critical to use the summer to recharge and anyone in education knows exactly what I am talking about, but I also love to make a lengthy to-do list and spend the summer weeks crossing off as many items on that list as possible. I am super excited to share many things on this list with you in this week’s blog post.
- Reading. For me I have always found the only time of year I can make any real progress on a book to be during the summer. I will usually try to read anywhere from 5-10 books throughout my summer break. I always have a few weeks at the beach and that is definitely a place where I do my best reading. It is fun to make a list of books throughout the school year and gather my choices at the beginning of summer and see how many I can get through.
- House Projects. For the last 5 school years I have had my own town house with my sister and now by myself. It has always been important for me to compile a small list of household projects to tackle during the summer time. From organization to cleaning to hiring a painter or planning a small deck addition through our HOA, summer is when I have liked to get these things done that just get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the school year. This year my goals are changing my locks and replacing my bedroom ceiling fan! I need some family help for both projects so coordinating that is part of the fun as well. Hope I can get it done!
- Fitness. Of course my loyal readers know by now how important fitness is to me. Something great about summer is how much time I have to dedicate to even more workouts and different types of workouts I may not have time for during the school year. I will often get up early and do a workout at home or go for a run. Later in the evening I will attend a usual workout class, go to a park to run, or sign up for some yoga! I love summer for the extra time to take care of myself.
- BEACH. Anyone reading my blog who knows me at all is well aware of my deep love for the sun and sand. I am very fortunate my family shares this same love. Every year for my entire life I spend anywhere from 1-3 full weeks at the beach and I try to take day trips whenever possible. I honestly did not consider how great it would be to continue this tradition when I began my teaching career, but it is definitely a huge motivator every school year to keep pushing through to get to that first hot day on the beach under the sun.
- Pool Time. I was so excited when I purchased my own place at the end of last year and found out I would be able to use the pool in my development! I have enjoyed spending my summers at a pool since before I could walk. This is a great place to go and cool off or read my latest book. I also love hosting friends and family at the pool and having a place for them to visit me and cool down in the heat. This is easily one of my favorite summer activities!
- Side Hustles. Something very important for me in the summer time has always been side hustles. A question I often get asked is ‘do you get paid in the summer.’ I do get paid in the summer months, but with extra down time it is also very important I take advantage of my free time and use it to make some extra money as well. I know it is awesome to have the opportunity to make money on top of money. I have spent 10 summers as a waitress making tips during the evening hours so as not to lose my sun and pool time. L.O.L. I also spent about 7 summers working for a science camp, because this was always my least favorite subject and as a learning support teacher I do believe it is important to embrace all subjects. This summer is my first summer since before college where I am not a waitress. I was fortunate enough to obtain some part time work supporting individuals with autism and I am loving it! This is serving as a great opportunity to see how I might like to expand my career into different areas. We will see what the future holds and I am stoked for the days when my summer is spent as a auntie and mommy, but for now my side hustles keep me going and I am so happy to have them.
- Blogging. As a loyal reader and fan of my blogging work (assumed because you have gotten this far in this post 🙂 ), you can see another way I am staying busy this summer is blogging! A few years ago I started thinking I would really like to write a book. Not sure where this idea comes from exactly, but I have this gut feeling and strongly believe this goal is worth pursuing. Earlier this year it occurred to me it would be a good idea to prove to myself I can really enjoy writing enough to put in the time and energy it will take to write this book some day. Hence, the idea to start a blog. As with most things in my life this blog would not have happened without the help and encouragement of friends and family. I have a long way to go, but I happy to report I am enjoying blogging and hope to keep growing and some day get started on that book.
- Happy Hours. May sound funny, but I absolutely love happy hour far more in the summer when I am not working. I know I know happy hour is technically supposed to follow the work day, but hey who has any right to decide when I want to get down for an hour and be happy!
- Sleep, Sleep, Sleep. May sound like a silly activity at first, but let me tell you this…one thing I know for sure is when you can, you sleep. There are many times throughout the school year when I am barely hanging on and getting up at 5:30 in the morning in the freezing cold when all I think about to keep going is the summer weeks I can sleep an extra hour or two. I try and take advantage of this as often as possible in the summer. I do not like sleeping all afternoon and sleeping in anymore only means an extra hour or two, but I definitely use this time and allow this sleep to help me feel rejuvenated and more prepared to tackle another school year.
- Connecting with friends and family. I do make a conscious effort to spend time with family and friends all year long. However, this is very important for me to do in the summer. I love having friends visit while I am at the beach, inviting family and friends to my pool, and hosting dinners whenever possible. I also love attending family picnics and making extra time to see friends I do not get to regularly see during the school months. Summer is such a blessing to reconnect and stray from my school year routine. I hope to see more friends and family throughout the remainder of this summer and I reminisce on these memories throughout the school year, especially during days that are more challenging.
I would love to hear your summer activities and get some new ideas and I appreciate you taking the time to read some of my favorites. I have found it to be very important as a teacher to maximize my opportunities in the summer to relax and re-charge and also be productive so I can start each new school year with enthusiasm and energy. I start dreaming of summer during the mid-winter slump when my colleagues and students are just starting to get that feeling ‘how will we make it!’
Off I go to enjoy my last three weeks of this beautiful summer.