As a teacher, you pine for summer vacation like a fat kid pines for ice cream and a Big Mac. Don’t pretend for a second that isn’t true. I don’t mean to say you and I don’t love children, or that we don’t love what we do. But the teaching grind–it grinds you down. And when the summer comes, all you want to do is put your ground up self in a hot tub and soak and become coffee.
You, teacher, want to be fully alive again.
As your summer vacation approached you in school corridors, you made plans about becoming alive.
You grinned as you imagined, behind your teacher desk and piles of marking, yourself reading your favourite Ray Bradbury novel—reading any novel, you’re not picky!— baking macarons, laughing at inside jokes with family, developing your pet project, working out your body so it bends to your will, planning your lessons and assignments for the next school year, so that next year?
“Next school year I will be so prepared that I will stay afloat. I’ll breathe easy. I’ll carve in more time for your hobbies and loved ones.” — That’s what you said.
This is your soul writing—Are you doing what you planned? Have you come alive?
I write this as a caution, because observing you, I’ve seen you waste your summer days like pouring grains of salt out of a salt shaker as you clumsily stumble down a road. Salt is tasty and precious.
Frankly, you’ve been careless with your time. You spend hours watching old shows on Netflix. You sleep in. You wonder how half the day has already escaped your clutch. Your running shoes are lonely. Your drink one too many margaritas and not enough water. You said you would read your favourite novel, what came of that? Where is it collecting dust? You said you would travel. Where have you gone?
This is your soul writing. You work hard during the school year. You waited all school year for the chance to be 100% alive and free. Now what? Don’t waste it. Not one day.
Set a schedule. Wake up early. Have a plan. Pretend you hear a school bell jolting you into action, onto the next thing. Next period? Life. Next class? Life!
Your summer is your favourite meal. So salt each day and savour it.
Teachers, don’t waste your summer vacations. You deserve to be fully alive.
Trust me. After one too many summer days wasted, I know what I’m talking about.
P.S. If you need more inspiration to stop wasting your time this summer or in life, I recommend you read Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life. Here’s a quick summary of the book below. It’s worth reading the whole thing.
P.P.S. I’m back to publishing twice a week. Happy belated Canada Day and Independence Day!