School is out. The pool is open. Fresh produce is everywhere – farmers’ markets, grocery stores, roadside stands. The schedule has finally eased up enough that I can consider some modest goals for this summer. I know how sneaky summer is. It lulls me with the promise of endless, lazy days. I begin to believe that I have all the time in the world to read books, freeze corn, spend time with my kids. The long, hot days blend into one another like a hazy dream. I easily fall under summer’s spell only to be rudely awakened by the first day of school. I’m thrust back into a tightly scheduled existence wondering where all the glorious free time went and feeling like I somehow I wasted golden opportunities that are now gone forever. By writing down a few goals, perhaps I will be able to withstand the temptation to give into summer’s dreamy spell of doing nothing at all. Now, I’m not talking real goals here. I’m not going to learn to play the cello, write the next great American novel, or organize all my kitchen drawers. Nope. I’m thinking more along the lines of fun tasks that reflect the spirit of summer.
Goals for Summer 2011
1. Read four books of my choice, strictly for pleasure, and preferably at the beach. I’ve been doing so much reading for school that I don’t have to read for fun. I think I need to make the time. I even have the books chosen already. The Zookeeper’s Wife, The Book Thief, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and The Life of Pi.
2. Go to the beach so I can successfully complete goal #1. And so I can soak up the sun and play in the surf. I’ve already been to Ocean City once this June. And I’ll be spending a few days in the Outer Banks with my family in August ( I usually do a lot of reading on that trip). I would love to make a few day trips to Delaware State beach this summer, too. I can never have too much beach time.
3. Eat lots of corn on the cob slathered with butter and sprinkled liberally with salt. Oh, and lots of juicy, home-grown peaches, too.
4. Try two new homemade ice cream recipes. If they’re really good, then I’ll make them over and over again until my family begs me to stop (as if that would ever happen).
5. Make peach and raspberry freezer jam. There is nothing like fresh peach jam on a warm biscuit in the dead of winter. I’d also like to freeze some corn but that’s hot, messy work. I don’t know – freezing corn seems too much like a real goal. But, corn chowder and baked corn taste the bestest with fresh corn. Decisions, decisions.
6. Attend a free outdoor concert. Every year I print out the schedule for Long’s Park. Every year we don’t get to a single concert. This year is going to be different.
7. Catch a few lightning bugs. And then let them go.
8. Go camping with my family for a long weekend. At a state park. In a tent. We’ll roast hot dogs and marshmallows around the campfire. And take a long hike to a waterfall. And swim in a spring-fed lake (for a very short period of time). Yes, this is already planned for the 4th of July weekend. But, we’ve cancelled so many camping trips lately that I’m not betting on this one until I’m actually sitting by the fire.
These last two goals are going to seem like “real” goals even though I expressly stated I didn’t want those on this fluffy list. I apologize for the deviation, but these to items must be addressed.
9. Walk 3 miles, 3 days a week. Doing the math, this equates to 90 miles for the summer (10 weeks until the end of August). No gasping, now. I already walk 3 miles at least 3 days a week. I just want to keep up the habit, that’s all. No big deal. It’s as much for stress management as it is for anything else. With the kids being home together all summer, I’ll need as much stress management as I can get.
10. Survive Quantitative Analysis. I’m in the midst of a twelve week course of Statistics and Research Design which will be finished at the end of August. It makes my brain hurt. Really. I want to excel, but at this point, surviving seems like a far more reasonable goal. One class at a time, just one class at a time……
So, that’s it. My agenda for Summer 2011. I think it’s going to be a great three months – minus the Quantum Analysis. I could really do without that. Homemade ice cream and Long’s Park, here I come!