Thinking about summer

Here it is, Memorial Day, the beginning of summer, and I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with it. I usually have something planned, but this time, I really don’t. There have been some summers when I had to take exams for grad school or when my job extended through the summer or when I had my dissertation to write. Two summers ago I had a couple articles to work on, and last summer I taught online for the first time, which was a lot of work.

This summer I’m teaching online again, and that will take some time, but I’ll be honest and say that it won’t be too terribly hard. I also have some reports to write and some changes to make to my classes for the fall, but those things aren’t that difficult either.

I feel as though I should have some grand plans for the summer — a writing project or redecorating my house, or at the very least, some ambitious reading project. But I’m just not interested in any of that. Maybe some ambition will come to me as I muddle along, but for now, it’s hard to think past the next day or two.

I will be riding my bike a lot, although even there, I’m feeling unambitious. My race yesterday didn’t go well at all — I got freaked out by a crash that happened in front of me, and when I finally got around the crashed riders and discovered just how far behind the main pack I was, I said forget it, I’m through with this, and stopped riding. I’m still loving my training rides and the Wednesday night race series, but I’ve lost interest in any race I’m supposed to take seriously, and my most serious ambition is to ride 5,000 miles this year, which will be the most I’ve ever done. That’s a serious ambition, I suppose, but it only requires that I do just a bit more riding than usual.

I’ll also be attending my sister’s wedding in August, and afterward Hobgoblin and I will spend a week in Maine. We might take some short camping or backpacking trips, but then again, we might not.

So, I guess I’ll just keep muddling along, doing whatever occurs to me and reading whatever books I feel like. That’s something to look forward to, right?

9 Comments

Filed under Books, Cycling, Life, Reading

9 responses to “Thinking about summer

  1. Reading, biking, and teaching. Sounds like a plenty busy summer to me! Hope it’s a good one.

  2. Perhaps it will be nice to have such a “vacation.” To have time to do whatever you feel like pretty much whenever you feel like it is a luxury. I’d say just relax and go with it. Eventually some kind of plan or project will surface and when summer is over you will find yourself wondering where the time went. Enjoy!

  3. Actually not having any (or many) set plans sounds like a nice relaxing summer! Sometimes it’s nice just to be a little frivolous (though riding 5000 miles is anything but frivolous! :) ). A week in Maine sounds wonderful though! Something nice to look forward to.

  4. I know what you mean. I usually post a summer wish list on my blog and work like crazy to do all or most of the things on it. But this year, not a single goal comes to mind. I’m not sure I’m OK with that, but maybe motivation will come later.

    In the meantime, there are lots of books to be read!!

  5. verbivore

    Reading whatever you feel like sounds like a perfect summer plan to me!

  6. Bardiac — thanks, and I hope you enjoy your summer too! I’m looking forward to hearing how the cycling trip went.

    Stefanie — thank you, and I think you’re right that either something will come up and I’ll enjoy it, or it won’t, and I’ll appreciate my time that way. I spent the whole school year being so completely driven, that I’m appreciating the chance to refrain from making any plans.

    Danielle — I’m definitely looking forward to the Maine trip, and I think I’ll enjoy my aimlessness, at least for a while, until the usual Protestant guilt kicks in, which it inevitably does. But for a while at least, teaching gives me a task to do, and I’m grateful for that.

    Debby — I think you’re right that the motivation will come later or the plans will come about in an organic kind of way. I say if you don’t feel like making a long list of plans, then it’s better not to. It’s not as though it’s often that we have a chance to live in a more unstructured kind of way.

    Verbivore — I think you’re right and will have to stick to that plan!

  7. Academia is such a driven profession – and that’s tiring. You owe it to yourself to have some spaciousness. I remember an old axiom I was always fond of – there is no rest without aimlessness. I know you, Dorothy, and I’m sure that in no time at all you’ll be planning biking marathons and finding marvellous books to read and doing all kinds of different things. There’s no need to feel guilty about having some well-earned and thoroughly deserved un-timetabled freedom!

  8. Muddling along and reading books sounds like a fantastic way to spend a summer to me.

  9. Litlove — thank you for the very kind comment! You’re probably right that I don’t need to worry about having some direction — if anything, I should be doing the opposite probably. I do feel the need for a break after the long school year, definitely. It’s time for some aimlessness!

    Emily — you’re right, of course. I’ll make sure to enjoy it.

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