Friday, August 12, 2011

The Light at the End of the Tunnel


One of my teacher friends (I think it was Tracy Litchfield) recently bemoaned August 1st as the death knell of the summer. I agreed. August does to the summer what Sunday evening does to the weekend. Then, of course, one of my parent friends (Michelle Gonnella) retorted that for her, August felt like Thank-God-It’s-Friday!
Yes, parents at home with bored, squabbling children are looking at the calendar and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. For us teachers – well, we see the light, too, but for us it’s an oncoming train!
I’m not complaining, because I was grateful to have these weeks off. Many of my co-workers worked their behinds off taking graduate courses all summer. Another whole bunch of my co-workers spent these weeks in the final stages of pregnancy or recovering from same with their beautiful babies. (Seriously, something must have been in the water at my building!)
As for me -- I always imagine I’ll set a rigorous writing schedule for myself – but that rarely happens. The sad fact is, if I have all day to write, I get very little done. It’s too easy to wander off task, get distracted, and holler: “Hey, Gabbey! Want to stream some Doctor Who from Netflix?” (She always says yes.)
By contrast, during the school year, if I only get 2 hours to write in the course of a day, you better believe I sit down and WRITE. Like many people, the more I have to do, the more organized I get. So, I have to admit that getting back on the train tracks might improve my productivity, rather than lessen it.
This summer, I met some, but not all, of my goals. Soon, I’ll share the details – but in the meantime, how is YOUR summer going? Do you see that light at the end of the tunnel? Is it daylight – or a locomotive?

9 comments:

  1. Summer makes very difference in my life. I work. My kids have childcare, and only one of them was in school anyway. The pace is really no different than it is during any other season! Congrats on meeting those goals, and I look forward to hearing the details!

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  2. I'm the same. I'm more strict with my schedule when I have a lot to do. I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, though I don't look forward to the cold winter. =)

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  3. Since I write full-time now, summer doesn't have quite the same delineating factor that it used to. But it still seems harder to get motivated during those months -- guess the whole idea of "summer vacation" is too firmly planted in my head from my school days, both as student and teacher.

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  4. I do see a light, but I'm not sure yet if it's the end of the tunnel or the train. I'm afraid to ginx it so I can't say what it is yet, but hopefully I'll know by September.

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  5. As I get older, then end of summer is a time for reflection. Another year gone by. My kids aren't kids anymore. Family vacations are waning. I miss the good old days of building sandcastles with the boys, jumping over waves, and trying to win enough tickets in the arcade to get a fifty cent squirt gun. Soon enough it will be their turn to make these memories for themselves, and I'll get a another turn with grandchildren. It's funny how cyclical life is. My goal each summer is to make memories, and I'm happy to report - so far so good!

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  6. August does to the summer what Sunday evening does to the weekend.


    You didn't need all that prose to express it better than you did in this one sentence. I might steal this line from you and use it as a prompt for a poem or for sure, it is written on my whiteboard on the first day of class as a writing prompt. Much better than, "What did you do over your summer vacation?"

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  7. Dianne, our schedules are flipped this year, since all my kids are in school full time in Sept. But I still cringe at the end of summer. No more days at the lake, feet in the sand. No more lazy days with Breakfast Books. (I introduced Harry Potter to my youngest two!! What joy!!) No more getting out of bed when we feel like it, and spontaneous fun. (Okay, maybe I should be able to be spontaneously fun during the school year too...)

    I never plan any trips or anything in August--the whole month is spent just relaxing before I have to put us all back on a schedule. The amount of planning that goes into school, sports, music lessons, and church commitments knocks me over in Sept. Glad to have a few more weeks before everything kicks into high gear!

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  8. The statement, The more I have to do, the moreorganized I get applies to me too! Sooo strange how that happens.

    I've been on both sides, being a former teacher and now mom/writer/jewelry biz owner. I am counting the days :D :D

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  9. while I did not have the summer off August does make me start to feel a little wistful because the cooler nights and mornings means that cooler days are just around the corner and winter won't be far behind. And while I don't hate winter - at least not until the end of January - I love summer. I just wish it were longer.

    Can't wait to hear those details either :)

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