May 14, 2005

Switching from School Mode to Summer Mode

Transitions often leave me feeling a little unsettled. It is like the first ten miles of a long car trip, especially if we are going some place new. Did I forget to pack something? Did I leave the water running? Once we've gone a ways, I relax, but I need to hit the point of no return before I can let go of everything.

Moving from the semester into summer mode leaves me with that same unsettled feeling. Always, I have a few odds and ends to finish up. Did I remember to write an annual report? Did I remember to submit grades for independent study students? What's all that stuff on my desk? Why do students keep sending me e-mails?

And I am often hard on myself. I feel like I am just wasting time as I go through piles of stuff on my desk, filing things, throwing stuff out. I spend hours going through accumulated e-mails, finally deleting some of them. But it is hard to feel like deleting e-mails is any kind of productive work.

Last week was a transition week. I did not get much writing done. But halfway through the week, I decided to cut myself some slack. I went out to the movies with Spouse on Wednesday night. And I indulged in a long phone call to Artist Friend on a gorgeous sunny day. I sat on a hill full of dandelions chatting lazily while he identified the birdsongs all around me. The next day I spent hours lying on the bed, stretched across my comfy down quilt, talking to Mirror Friend on the telephone. Another morning, I sat in the sun in our backyard, chatting with Daughter and eating grapes. And of course, I spent time at Pilgrim's Blog, building a tree fort and testing out the new water slide that David built.

When it comes right down to it, I didn't get much done. But it is nice to feel the rhythm of my body changing -- slowing down, relaxing. Yeah, I do want to get some writing done this summer, but summer time is my time to relax, to play. And I don't want to forget that.

8 comments:

bitchphd said...

You really are an inspiration, you know that?

What Now? said...

I'm beginning to enter that unsettling transition time, and I'm having more difficulty with it this year than in the last couple of years. So thanks for the reminder that our seasonal changes are often like this.

the reverend mommy said...

I'm with you. It's like a tightly furled bud finally relaxing. I finally feel that creative energy flowing again. School/papers/grading sure takes it out of you.

timna said...

I just can't figure out why I'm putting off that transitional moment -- those portfolios could have been graded already. and I could be in summer mode. can't seem to get there (the deadline's Tues, I'll be there by then).

enjoy!

Friday Mom said...

Sounds like a great week to me. Who says you weren't productive?

Mel said...

I also have a hard time with those transitions. It's great that you've got good friends to talk to as part of the unwinding process.

PPB said...

First, it sounds like a great productive week to me, and second --sigh!----I hate working 12 months! I am now remembering with fondness my old 10 month contracts. I wonder if I appreciated them throughly enough?

Appreciate it doubly for me, will ya?

Yankee T said...

Like PPB, I am jealous of the "summers off" part. It's one of my goals.