School ended a week ago yesterday. Yes, one of the benefits of being a teacher is summers off. While I certainly enjoy having more time and space, I am not the kick back and relax type. In fact, my wife has noted that during the first two weeks of the summer, I use my extra time to look around and feel dissatisfied. You see, one of the lessons I continually learn about myself is I like to feel productive.
So, I made a list of things that I plan on accomplishing in order to have a productive summer. Some of these things are family-related: help BR to feel comfortable riding a bike, help SY improve his reading skills, and go through the kids’ old books. Some are house-related: organize the unmarked CDs (I started last summer).
However, the majority of the list is about me: writing, reading, learning and exercising, etc. It’s a long list and somewhat demanding – requiring time, concentration, and dedication. Isn’t that what goals are for? Well, that’s what I was taught to believe. The only way to grow is to push yourself.
Do you remember the Flintsones’ episode when Fred has an angel on one side and a devil on the other to symbolize his internal conflict? The angel, of course, tries to push him to do the right thing and share the sweepstakes ticket while the devil advises Fred to keep the ticket for himself. I can empathize with Fred. The angel tells me it’s only been a week and I have been productive and besides, I’m entitled to some down time after another challenging school year. It is comforting and exhilarating. The devil tells me nothing is happening this summer, I’ve accomplished zilch, and I have little hope of making things better. It’s depressing and heavy.
So, what’s it going to be – the angel or the devil, the optimist or the pessimist, the doer or the naysayer? It’s time for me to learn the lesson of productivity and positivty again – I want to accomplish.