The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

There’s a Lot to be Said For Nothing

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Summer is over.  Indeed, all 79 of your consecutive days off are gone, and you’re going to meet all your students tomorrow morning.  You know it’s hard for most who are reading this to sympathize.  You’ve grown used to the protestations after twenty years, to the point where you don’t really even hear them anymore.  It is an ungodly amount of time to be free from the strictures of work, and even more unbelievable when you don’t have a wife or kids to consider when it comes to considering what you’re going to do with your time.

So what did you do with your time this summer?  Nothing, really.  You didn’t take a class or anything.  No need to.  Your license isn’t up for renewal; nor do you need the graduate hours.  You may have mentioned in a previous post that you’re now at the top of the salary scale and don’t need to take summer classes anymore.  That didn’t stop you from taking a pretty significant workshop last summer, but that’s not something you’re planning on doing every summer.  But not taking any classes?  Unheard of.  So much so that you have to stop and think for a long time about the last time you didn’t take a summer course.  You think it was 2005, though you’re not entirely sure.

But there were trips, right?  Like the time you went on the cruise.  Or when you went to China.  Maybe you took a few weeks here or there, or a long weekend?  Nope.  Nothing more than a pair of single-day trips out of state, and a few day straggling back from a family event the very first weekend of summer.  Aside from those, you never even left the Chicagoland area, except for a trip to Milwaukee for a soccer match.  That, too, is unheard of in your life.

Didn’t it get boring, hanging out at home all day every day?  No.  Had you actually done that, you imagine it would have been pretty damn boring.  But you were so completely active that staying at home got to be a sought-after pleasure.

So, what exactly did you do?  For starters, you exercised to a degree you’ve never exercised in your life.  You had set a goal to get your weight under 200 lbs. and to maintain that.  That resulted in exercising 64 times since June 2.  You again ran a bunch of 5Ks.  Those will keep you structured and organized near week ends so you can do your best.

You had a handful of home projects to complete, such as cleaning out a file cabinet that had documents in it dating back to at least 1990; most of which you hadn’t looked at in years.  You shredded enough paper to fill three kitchen garbage bags.  There were two closets to clean out, too.  You still don’t know how one person can collect so much clutter.  And the damn closets only reinforce the “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy that you’re sure you’re not the first person to complain about.  And just now you’re in the middle of a huge kitchen makeover.  Why not save the biggest one for last?

You spent a helluva lot of time sitting on the balcony reading.  That’s a frequent lament in the cold months, that you can’t sit on the balcony and read.  So you did a lot of that.  And writing, of course!  You got in the habit of making  yourself work on writing on Wednesday afternoons at a nearby restaurant that has a nice outdoor patio.  And the beauty of Wednesday afternoons in the summer?  Ain’t nobody else there!

So what else?  You have a regular summer tutoring gig that helps keep your teaching mind straight and provided you with a quantum of adult structure.  But then there was Netflix…  MLBTV…  and so much USMNT and USWNT soccer that you couldn’t quite believe it.

To most people, this all adds up to “nothing.”  You can’t argue that.  But it also all added up to one helluva lot of exercise and rest.  So much rest, in fact, that by mid August you were over-rested.  It can happen.  It happens every year when the calendar turns to August.  All of a sudden there is some kind of panic that you didn’t cram in enough fun and slacking off, so you stay up until 2AM, sleep until 10AM, and take a two-hour nap in the afternoon.

Who wouldn’t love to have your problems?  Anybody who wants them can check back with you in four months and tell you if they feel the same way.  If so, you’ll talk.

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Written by seeker70

August 25, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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