Since I switched jobs, I am on a 12-month contract. Though there is still plenty of time off, I don’t have the three months of summer vacation that I enjoyed as a teacher. That is not to say that summer is all work and no play. In fact, summer days at a school without students is an easy pace. Though my to-do list is rather long, I get a lot of things done a great deal more quickly.
The work day is shorter, no work comes home for the evenings or weekends, and I take days (even weeks) off. But the loss of 3 months of seemingly endless time that was summer vacation meant making a transition in my own thinking. Rather than assume relaxation would just happen, I make intentional time for it. The month of May is filled with the expectant spirit of a well-earned break in the offing.
Life outdoors and my cheerful front porch is the center of summer relaxation for me. For my summer schedule, I’ve established a morning tradition of sitting on the front porch reading a book while I enjoy my first cup of coffee. The porch becomes a sanctuary on summer mornings and in May I plant the flowers and clean the porch so that it is fresh and welcoming for the summer that lies ahead.
I enjoy getting the porch ready for summer and it provides two benefits in the busy month of May. First, I get some time outside to plant flowers and otherwise embrace nature. There will be plenty of that in the summer as well, but after a long winter and in the midst of the frenetic pace of the end of the school year, the time outside is a pleasure. The second benefit of my summer preparation is a reminder to live in the moment. May is beautiful around here and it’s good to stop and enjoy its blooms and blessings.