I charge out of my cool apartment into the Dallas sun, and my skin develops a slick sheen of sweat within three minutes. I elbow my overflowing beach bag closer to my body as my flip-flops slap the burning pavement. I catch the soft edge of a generous breeze as I reach the pool area of my apartment complex. I am the only soul there to soak up the sun. I stop. I smile. It is noon, on a Wednesday, and I am not at work.
My first year of teaching is behind me, and at this point all I can say is…I’M FREEEEEEEEE!!! The thermometer has been creeping up for weeks, and I have been craving summer. Not just vacation, but the tastes of summer, like a charred burger straight from an outdoor grill, topped with cold tomato slices and crispy lettuce, all between pillowy buns. In fact, I believe I’m dangerously close to crashing a cookout. Today I saw a lonely potato chip abandoned on a lounge chair by the pool, and only my dignity prevented me from rescuing it into my mouth. And I don’t even like potato chips…except during cookouts.
With the looming certainty of three-digit temperatures in the future, I want to enjoy the double-digit heat while I can. I plan to leisurely eat on patios and be in or near bodies of water as much as possible. But I won’t just be lounging this summer. I’ll be studying for my last certification exam and the GRE, planning for next year, working out, moving to a new apartment, and getting back into writing. I’ll also explore more of what Dallas has to offer since I’ll finally have the time!
A few months ago I was thinking of getting a summer job, but I realized I need this summer for myself. My first year of teaching was challenging, stressful, depressing, rewarding, overwhelming, and downright exhausting. I think I’ve earned some “me” time, and I can’t wait to explore the possibilities.