Its finally summer. After a dark, cool, rainy spring, the weather is finally hot and humid. The woods are so thick with leaves that I can only see about ten feet when I peer in to make out what small creature is making all the ruckus in the undergrowth. The grass is lush and thick, and the gardens are thriving. I can almost watch the pumpkin plants grow as they stretch out their long arms and embrace the soil.
After a long year of teaching, tutoring, learning new curriculum, handling student conflicts and parent worries, it is finally summer. After hosting a bridal shower, teaching a summer drama camp, taking the dog for acupuncture and a physical and feeding friends and family, it is finally a time for a few quiet days on my own.
I woke up this morning with the empty day stretching out before me. A day when I could do pretty much anything I wanted to do.
So the first thing I did was make a list of chores to be completed. I walked the dogs, mowed the grass and threw in a load of laundry. I caught up with some mail and checked in with a couple of friends.
When everything was finished, I finally felt that I could open up a book or turn on bad TV.
And that made me wonder: why do I always feel like I have to “earn” my hours of free time?
Is this a leftover neurosis from my mommy days? I don’t know! But it makes me worry about what will happen to my mental health once I finally retire from teaching. Will I become a compulsive drawer organizer when I’m faced with all that open time? Will I start ironing my underwear and socks to make myself feel worthy of an afternoon nap? Or will I learn to embrace my inner slug and start enjoying the daily crossword puzzle?
I don’t know. It makes me a little nervous just thinking about it! I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how my life changes when the day comes for me to give up my daily routine.
For now, though, I’ll go fold the last load of clothes and see if I can find an episode of Long Island Medium on TV.