Summer brings to mind heat, sunshine, vacation, and play. This year, I am honoring summer and a break from my job. I do not work in the summer, read: I do not receive a paycheck in the summer. However, most people I know, no matter their income, always complain about a lack of time. After years of fighting my summer un(der)-employment, I am going to follow some dreams this summer. I want this summer to be a break and a change and a chance to accomplish something with all that free time.
Coincidentally, the lease on the apartment I share with my sister, was also up near the end of June. I decided to celebrate the glorious matching up of desires and deadlines and not pay rent for the summer. I packed up all of my stuff and rented a storage unit, still much cheaper than a month’s rent, and will take advantage of no rent to travel to New Mexico for much of the summer. Lighter in my load and fancying a change in scenery and a change of pace, here is what I hope to do during the summer.
1. Scribble – Since starting this blog, back in November 2010, I have long talked about my desire to be a writer. In fits and starts, I get closer to that goal. I have had a few things published, mostly essays and short stories, but I would like to write a book’s length work. I plan to write a series of linked essays this summer. Vast amounts of time will help this endeavor. I also plan to research and find markets for my work. If a writer is one who writes, then a published writer is one who gets their work published. I can not control what an editor decides, but I can submit and try. When work and school and other parts of life resume in the fall, if I have accomplished the goal of writing a book’s worth of essays, it will be much easier to revise, edit, and proofread, rather than start from scratch. Scribbling and thinking and reflecting sound like a glorious way to spend part of my summer.
2. Splash – Summer means swimming. In June, I signed up for adult swimming lessons and have thoroughly enjoyed going to the pool two nights a week for help in tweaking my stroke, getting more efficient with laps, and learning to breathe. I have one more lesson and then it is all on me. The summer lessons combined with competing in a mini-mini-triathlon make me realize how much I love swimming. The small town, where my mother lives and where I will be staying for part of the summer, has a lovely new indoor pool. I can buy a monthly pass for $30 and start swimming. I hope to see an improvement in my swimming, time and distance and breathing, and to find clarity through smudged goggles.
3. Stride – Slowly, my running is coming together. I can now run three miles, when only a few short months ago I was winded chasing after an exuberant group of third graders on a field trip. I find myself delighting in the strides and solitude and simplicity. Running keeps me going, literally and figuratively and spiritually. Quietly, well huffing and puffing, I take to the streets and run. I will run in New Mexico and enjoy the memories of paths taken during my childhood. Shoelaces, soles, my soul, they all come together.
4. Speak – Learning to speak and understand another language besides English has been a lifelong desire. Languages in general fascinate me, Spanish in particular grabs my heart. A couple of months ago, in preparation for the summer, I bought the Rosetta Stone Spanish program. I am excited to follow a plan and to expand my brain. Stilted and stuttering, I begin, excited to learn and play. I am lucky to have grown up in northern New Mexico. I have pronunciation and rolled rrrrrrrrrs on my side. Thinking and dreaming and speaking in another language may finally come true with the foundation laid this summer.
What are your heart’s desires? What do you want to learn? What do you want to do? Find a dream, find pockets of time, find your heart, find yourself. Here’s to summer!