This week’s question: How does your routine change in the summer?
Since I don’t teach during the summer, my Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are free, as well as all the hours I usually spend grading papers, answering emails, and preparing lectures. In addition, two of the three musical groups I play in don’t rehearse or perform, so my Tuesday and Wednesday evenings are also free. With travel time for work and rehearsal, that’s about twenty extra hours each week. So ideally, summer time means I should be able to get a lot more accomplished!
My summer break from teaching actually started a month ago (a huge advantage of teaching on a college schedule as opposed to a K-12 schedule!) so I’ve had some time to segue into a summer routine before actual summer weather arrived. I took some time to do the usual beginning of summer stuff: spring cleaning (my version of it, anyway) transitioning to a later time for going to bed and getting up, digging out my lighter clothing, and mapping out my next Christmas story. The summer activities below have been gradually added to my routine.
One thing I do more of in the summer is make time to exercise. I have a gym membership, but have to force myself to use it. During the summer it’s a lot easier to just put on my gym shoes and go outside. A morning walk around my neighborhood is a great way to start the day, and inspires me to get other things done. After a brisk mile or two I come home ready to tackle a project. Once in a while I have company on my walks! Of course the inspiration seems to fade as the actual doing begins. A sewing project here might be put on hold while I look for the pattern or some of the materials needed. A writing project gets derailed because I need to do research. And then there’s the other person who lives in my house, who needs to eat on a regular basis. I’m fortunate that he’s the one who actually plans and cooks the meals, but then it’s my job to stop whatever I’m doing and join him at the table.
I also try to get a lot of sewing and crafting projects done during the summer. I have a lot of unfinished projects that I’ve been working on and I need to make serious work of decreasing my fabric stash. This summer I’m adding the goal of remodeling my craft room, so it’s been a challenge sorting through the mountains of mess – and keeping them sorted enough so I can get to things when I need them! I’m going to skip sharing a before picture of the actual room and my stash – let’s just say it would remind you of an episode of Hoarders.
Since my daughter and her family live nearby and she also has summers off, sometimes I’ll get a phone call asking if I’d like to join her and the grandkids for an outing to the park, the zoo, the botanical gardens, the museum, or something fun and educational. I love these impromptu trips. It means that whatever I’d planned to do that day gets put on hold, but that’s okay. The kids will only be young for a short time and I’d much rather tag along and take pictures than keep up on housework, crafts, or writing goals.
So I guess my answer to the original question is: during the summer my routine changes to a less structured schedule. Things are penciled in, but are often changed. But I think that’s what makes summer special!