The Lure of the Porch

How am I supposed to get anything done today if it is going to be such a glorious sit-on-the-porch rainy day?

I can count on one hand the number of days before I report back for the new school year. I have a to-do list of to-do lists and I have been dutifully checking my way through them. I am. I am not in a panic (meds are so helpful!) but I have “set my face toward Jerusalem” and acknowledge that summer ends for me next week.

Next week, there will be no more coffee hours on the porch and lengthy sessions with my journal. In fact, there will be little coffee consumption because I won’t have time to drink it or empty my bladder afterwards.

Next week, I will resume my vitamin D supplements as I wake up in the dark to spend the bulk of daylight hours indoors with my classroom air purifier humming by my desk.

Next week, my days will be divided into minutes and even my peeing will be regulated by a bell. In contrast, this week my time is divided into chunks roughly corresponding to morning, afternoon, and evening, but more accurately designated as unproductive me-time, productive me-time, and binge-watching me-time.

Don’t get me wrong. I am quite ready to be back at work. I need the stimulation and the structure and the purpose. I need the schedule. The responsibility of deciding what to do everyday in summer when the possibilities are endless—it is getting to be too big of a burden.

And so, in the spirit of returning to work, I turn to my to-do lists.

But there are few things more precious than a rainy day on the screen porch rocking in my glider. My only hope for today is for the sun to come out.

And, for the moment, it has.

But a most beautiful, puffy, ginormous cumulous cloud is sailing by in an azure sky…

Weather bulletin:a tornado watch is in effect until 8 p.m. A tornado might just get me off this porch.

Not ready to call it a summer

This is it.  Back-to-school week for teachers.  And I’m not ready.

My back-to-school car maintenance got me a back-to-school back-pack! It only cost me $$$$.

Oh, I’m “ready.”  I’ve gone to Office Depot for a boatload of supplies. I’ve paid Toyota a significant amount of money for scheduled maintenance on my car.  I have the weeksheets typed up for my first week of lessons.  I even practiced using my alarm clock on Saturday.  (I had an early–9 a.m.–appointment for a pedicure.  At least my toes are ready for school.)

But I’m not ready.  Besides the fact that I’m currently on a 1 -9 a.m sleep cycle and that waking up to the alarm at 5:30 a.m. is going to kill me, there is still stuff I wanna do.  I still have beeswax to play with. I have more things to order from random suppliers to make more lip balm.  I haven’t learned how to make candles.  I haven’t found seeds to plant in my fall garden.  The little “fill-your-own-teabags” that I bought online…well, they aren’t filled.  I haven’t ordered cute little jars to put my bath salts in.

I know, I know, these are not critical.  The world will not end because the parsley is not planted.  It’s just that once school starts, nothing will get done except school.  This is why certain teachers I know (and Linda H, you are not the only one!) address their Christmas cards in July.

I bought a tee-shirt in June when I toured the Celestial Seasonings tea factory in Boulder, Colorado.  Underneath a picture of the SleepyTime bear is the quote: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”  What a lovely Zen-like thought.  It kind of even works as a calmness motivator–in summer.  It’s pretty laughable during the school year, though, when Mother Nature calls and you have three minutes to push past pokey teenagers in the hallway to get to the  restroom–and back.

It’s a calming thought, but I lean more towards Ecclesiastes 3:1–“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

I’ve spent the summer doing one thing at a time.  (Sometimes not even that much.)  Now it is time to re-enter the world of constant multi-tasking.  And I don’t want to.  I want to continue to do one thing at a time.  Is it possible to boycott multi-tasking?  Is it possible to make a stand for focus in an ADD society?  What would happen if I not only said, “I can’t do three things at once!” but I actually didn’t try to?

Every year teachers get asked to do more and more in the same amount of time.  I think I reached my saturation point last year.  So I begin this year wondering, is it possible to not hurry and get everything accomplished?  I don’t know.  I’m curious to try.  And when I fail, well, that’s what the bath salts are for.