For any readers that are not teachers, the following comments may cause you to roll your eyes. I hope that some of my fellow teachers however, can relate!
Each summer, it always takes me a little while to unwind, to relax and to settle into summer. I work at a pretty intense pace during the school year, taking on a few extras that keep me busy in and out of my role. To be honest, I was feeling out of gas in the last couple weeks of school and I’m looking forward to this summer, and “sharpening the saw”. You may have heard of this term – it comes from the “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. I have little experience with “7 Habits”, but I like the term and the idea. For me, it’s about establishing a little more balance in my life, so I can be more effective. It’s about taking time to reflect and re-energize.
Last weekend I had the wonderful experience of celebrating my 40th birthday with 8 other girlfriends up in the Muskokas. It was the first time I’ve been away from my family for something that was not work related. I woke up at 9am for the first time in 6-9 years. It was amazing to have “girl” time and to reconnect with some people that I had lost touch with in the last ten years. And time just to be silly and remember who I am outside of being a mom, wife and coach. Who flips a canoe in 2 feet of water? Well, we did! I kind of reconnected with my “fun” self.
This week, my daughters started their first of four swimming lessons weeks. We do this every summer. It’s a great way to add a little structure to our day and ensure that we get up, eat breakfast, get showered and dressed before noon! But they love swimming and their cousins are there too. The rest of the day kind just kind of evolves. This is a summer ritual for us. I’m going to explore computer coding with them this summer. My one daughter is interested in writing, so I will encourage that. The other is itching to learn to read. We’ll have spontaneous day trips and visits with friends and family. We have some exciting travel plans and camping plans too.
But it was actually yesterday when “summer” hit me. We went to watch my husband play the bagpipes with his band at the Embro Highland Games on Canada Day. It hit me when I saw a man in a kilt throw a caber (a big tree trunk) and the crowd cheered. We attend a lot of Highland Games and I spent a great day with family and friends watching border collies herd sheep, tug-o-war, highland dancers, piping, and well… the kids and I even splurged on an ice cream and a bag of cotton candy. We also attended the fireworks display behind our house and I had that moment when you realize the whole summer and its potential is in front of you.
I will do some professional reading this summer and that’s about it. I’m also going to do a lot of non-professional reading too! Healthier habits are returning – my Fitbit has been reactivated, I’m eating well and playing tennis. I’m just getting a little more balance in my life. The trick is maintaining this in the school year…
Please share with me… when did summer “hit” you? What are you doing to “sharpen the saw”? What do you do to recharge for a new school year? What habits do you hope to maintain in the school year and how do you plan on making sure that you do?
Now back to “sharpening” the saw…