Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Endless Summer (June theme: Summer Vacation)


Ahh, summer vacation. As a college professor, it was always my time to dig deep and really write. Classes at my university end about a month before the schools let out, so when my kids were in school I always had a luxurious—but finite—amount of time to get a lot done. Knowing my time was limited, I would sit down and churn out the pages.

But by the end of the summer, I was usually antsy and ready to get back to work.

The twist this summer is that I resigned my teaching position as of a month ago. My kids have (mostly) grown up and moved out, so what stretches ahead of me is an unlimited summer break. I’m losing track of the day of the week. Along with Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess Grantham on Downton Abbey, I might ask, “What is a weekend?”
With the other new emeriti

And I’m worried that in a few months, I’ll be antsy and ready to get back to work, but there won’t be work to get back to.

Or is it that I used to get antsy in August because classes were looming, syllabi were due, book orders were to be checked, and classrooms to be changed, and I was caught up in the excitement? And now that none of that will happen, will I be settled into my new routine and will hardly notice that just down the street, the first-year students are lining up, that someone else will be teaching the classes I created (okay, I admit to a bit of possessiveness here), that the office I possessed for twenty-eight years will be filled with nice new furniture and a new professor?

With—almost—unlimited time at my disposal, will I continue to write at the rate I used to during the summer months, when I knew my time was limited? Will I write better? Worse?

I wish I knew. I’ll be posting about this on my own blog, so check in after mid-August if you’re interested!

6 comments:

  1. When I quit my sales job after the kids were gone, I had oodles of stuff that I thought I would pour myself into. Something really strange happened, I found that my time had been managed around my job, kids and hubby. This created a strange sense of flux and my days quickly filled with requests from friends and kids. I not only had to teach everyone around me that whileI didn't have a job outside of the the home, I did have a job. The hardest one, of course, to convince was myself. I had to give myself permission to organize my time how I wanted, writing now wasn't a reward for getting all the daily stuff done, it was my job. I'm still in the process of working out the kinks but don't let anyone tell you it's easy. It's a different kind of life and old habits of doing for others is hard to break. :)

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    1. Thanks, Pam--I'd love a guest post to that effect on my blog!

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  2. I've been full-time writing now for the past eleven years, and I know with absolute certainty that you'll settle into this new life, find your pace, and LOVE it. Take it from an old-timer: once you get in that groove, there's no going back...

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    1. I can't wait to find that out for myself, Holly!

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  3. Very exciting times for you! Best of luck with everything.

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