Well, in what felt like forever and the blink of an eye at one time, summer is over. It isn't over for the real world, but I go back to school tomorrow for teacher inservice week! While I would NEVER trade in getting out of school in May when the weather is perfect, it is rough knowing that summer for us is half over soon after "official" summer begins.
All that said, I am ready. I have a new teaching partner, a couple new members of the team I am really excited about, and I am ready for a new batch of kiddos. This year, I am only teaching reading and writing, which both breaks my heart and excites me at the same time. I am excited for the simplicity, and the laser focus I will be able to have. I am planning to do a lot of mini reading lessons involving science and social studies books and related topics, so I can get my fix in. Science is the love of my life, reading comes second.
I am really proud at how I spent my summer. I really didn't travel at all, in the end. I thought I would go to North Carolina, maybe Pennsylvania, and definitely to the beach and to Lake Anna. Funny thing is, none of those things happened. Not one. Getting more focused about finances and changing my approach to that was a major reason, as my current car won't last forever and this time next year I am hoping to be in graduate school. Despite not doing these things, I still did a lot. I spent my time focused on myself, and after a rough school year, that was exactly what I needed. I rediscovered old loves and started some new ones, and I am very excited about how continuing them during the year will help me feel when things at school get overwhelming.
Reading - I used to be the most voracious reader as a child. Going through one book per day on a weekend was agiven, and often it was two. College kind of broke me of my love, as it does so many, and I only read lightly from then on. This summer I read most days for at least an hour, which sparked the book monster inside me, and I couldn't be more excited about it!
Podcasts - I admit, despite podcasts being so trendy right now, I never understood them. Then, as I was looking for a new outlook on weight loss, I decided to look at podcasts as an option. Now, I listen to podcasts of all kinds. I listened for at least an hour a day most days this summer, like reading. I listen when I cook, when I am wasting time playing freecell, and when I drive most often.
Kombucha - I both fell in love with drinking kombucha as a soda replacement and brewing my own this summer. This one is major as it inspires a bit of creativity, has a "cooking" element, saves money, and is generally really cool. I have brewed 3 batches so far, and the carbonation has not quite gotten there yet, but I think that is largely because I got overexcited and increased my brews from one gallon to two very quickly, and my scoby is growing but still hasn't gotten big enough to brew strong enough yet to accommodate that. I also began making a kombucha sibling, Jun. Jun is a fermented tea as well but uses green tea and honey, supposedly is fizzier (which could be perfect!), loves colder temps (we keep it rather cool here), and brews faster! Updates on that after I brew a batch or two.
Cooking - I did a great job this summer at balancing ordering food (a constant temptation) and cooking. I made some very indulgent things, and they are things I plan to keep in my arsenal. Cooking has been an area I have worked to improve on since beginning this blog, so I am always excited when I realize how much more I have grown and how much growth I have yet to do.
Swimming - I might not have gone to Lake Anna or the beach, but I did find a little place to swim on the river, and went swimming a few times. As it turns out, I don't necessarily care how I get to swim, as long as swimming is an option!
Now, on to some surprising things I did not do this summer. Well, not surprising that I did not do them, but very surprising that I do not mind.
Walk, bike, or exercise much - Despite having all the time in the world, I really slacked off here. I am 100% ok with it. I started the summer walking like a fiend because the weather was amazing. Then I got attacked by a snake, saw the scariest spider I have ever seen in my life, and it got hot. I am very sensitive to heat, and I began resenting exercise. An activity I normally love and need to function was causing me such negative feelings, I gave myself permission to take a break this summer. I am now excited for the weather to cool down so I can get back to it. My fitness level has gone to the crapper, but it doesn't take long to get it all back!
Lose weight - I spent all summer trying to get back on track, and failed. I would be on track for a few days, then blow it, and the cycle would continue. I just have such a hard time sitting at home all day, being able to cook, and not going over calories! During the school year, all physical needs (including hunger) tend to be on hold from 7am-4pm. I eat breakfast, lunch, and a snack, but the calories are a lot more limited, and give me more freedom for dinner. Combined with my lack of exercise, I maintained my weight for the most part. I am pretty proud of that. I think everyone needs a break sometimes. I have a lot of weight to lose, so really, what rush am I in? As of this past Wednesday, I have been tracking my food again, and starting next Wednesday plan to be back on plan because school will have begun.
In all, a great summer. Very few to no complaints. Next summer, I am hoping to have the financial freedom to travel a little more, get my ass to the beach like I have been trying to do for the last five years, and maybe start graduate school. I feel rested, prepared, and generally excited for the new year!