Our friends at Lifehacker suggest that summer is the perfect time to get some special things done, and they further suggest that, on the cusp of this fine season, we all sit down and make a list of some things we want to accomplish. The sample list they provide runs the gamut—eat more vegetables, be active, spend more time outdoors and so on, all the way up to reading great books and challenging yourself with intellectual pursuits.
As a teacher, I am blessed to have a less structured summer, but that doesn’t mean I plan to stay idle and not earn my keep. I am taking a professional course for the month of July, doing some freelance projects, and a little bit of tutoring if any comes my way. I also have prep to do for the coming school year. But in the spirit of leaving a little time for fun too, I took Lifehacker up on their suggestion and have made a Summer Manifesto for myself:
– Make a reading date in a different beautiful place every Friday. I have an agreement with the Beloved that I will get out of the house every day, and I love to take my iPad and keyboard, then go somewhere nice to do my course work and my writing. But I don’t buy a bus pass in the summer and find that I get into a token-rationing mentality where I frequent the same half-dozen coffee shops, all of which I can walk to. No more of that! I am reserving Fridays for my adventure day. I will leave the work at home, pack my Kindle with me instead and go find someplace beautiful to read. Parks, waterfronts, cool cafes…I don’t know yet where I will go. But every Friday, it will be somewhere!
– Limit my non-work screen time. A few summers ago, I did a little too much playing on my clunky iPad 2, and ruined my wrists. I take better care of myself now and am for the most part okay, but I find that when I overdo it, I start waking up in the middle of the night with tingling fingers. I mitigated the damage somewhat last year by limiting the time I spent on my tablets to only work stuff. Between my online course and my writing work, I have plenty to do that’s techie. I want to once again fill more of my leisure time with non-screen activities—walks, workouts, and non-tech hobbies.
– Eat only during designated meal and snack times. During the school year, my daily schedule is very structured, and my breaks come at designated times. I’d like to try and stick to those times during the summer. It is too easy to snack while I am sitting at a computer all day. I don’t know how those of you with office jobs do it! So I am going to get up early when the Beloved does, do my workout, eat breakfast and then work on my computer stuff. Following a solid and productive morning, I will go out somewhere—on foot—and enjoy my packed lunch. Then I will find a place to write for the afternoon, have an iced tea and a snack while I am there, and then be home late afternoon as I was during the school year.
There you have it, simple and brief: read more, walk more, eat well and take care of myself. My simple summer manifesto!
How about you? What’s on tap for you this summer?