How I Didn’t Spend My Summer Vacation

I didn’t write every day.

I didn’t blog every week.

I didn’t read and review any of my friends’ reportedly awesome books:

Bryan J.L. Glass–Mice Templar and Quixote

Reynald Perry—Divine Wreckage  (I don’t even have a Kindle.)

Andrew Reichart—Weird Luck In the City of the Watcher –and I’ve been really looking forward to this one.

They didn’t know I planned on writing reviews; I’m the one I’ve disappointed.

I didn’t pursue career counseling or conduct information interviews with a diverse variety of friends and colleagues.

I didn’t finish The Brothers Karamazov.

I didn’t get accepted into the Rutgers One-On-One Children’s Writing Conference, lose 20 pounds, or win the lottery.

I offer instead this catalog of less-tangible accomplishments:

I recovered from surgery. I’m now so healthy, I feel ten years younger.

I slept in late. It was glorious. (Now that we’re entering Fall, I’ve started to resume my 5:30 a.m. writing appointments.)

I resurrected the church library: moving bookshelves, buying supplies, processing and cataloguing 100+ books.

I revised my resume and updated my LinkedIn profile. I’ve networked with colleagues in primarily social occasions.

I persisted through George R.R. Martin’s contemporary classic A Feast of Crows.

I’ve started bike riding. I’m eating healthier. (I don’t play the lottery.)  We conducted extensive research and bought a car.

After a summer off, I’m resuming my M.F.A. studies tomorrow.

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of energy lamenting what you haven’t accomplished.  We need to give ourselves credit for works-in progress, for the thankless necessary jobs that keep our lives running smoothly: cleaning out the garage, donating our long-mourned skinny jeans to Goodwill, growing tomatoes and making a batch of gravy from scratch (that’s spaghetti sauce to most of my readers), mowing the lawn, spending time with family—at home as well as at the beach.

How have you spent your summer?

What are you failing to give yourself credit for?

         Take a moment and give thanks for your health, for the everyday projects you have the strength and means to accomplish, for the loved ones in your life, for your small triumphs and unlauded accomplishments.

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2 comments on “How I Didn’t Spend My Summer Vacation

  1. Michael says:

    Very cool. Nice to think about this perspective in such ahustle-bustle world.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Sounds like you made a decision to love yourself, heal yourself, soothe your soul, embrace family and friends, and prepare your body for a long and healthy haul. A spiritual and emotional equivalent to stopping to smell the roses. Since roses are seasonal, what you have done for yourself and are urging others to do is weave a stronger thread into the fabric of your life. Pat yourself on the back, and continue to love yours

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