Yesterday, as I walked to a meeting with a colleague discussing our end-of-the-term schedules and to-do lists, I remarked that this point in the term, and particularly Spring Term, is like Mile 20 of a marathon. You know that the race is almost over, but you also know that the next 6.2 miles are going to be somewhat unpleasant and painful.
Classes ended Wednesday, finals start Saturday and go through Monday, senior grades are due exactly 35 hours after the last finals period ends (ugh), graduation is on the 10th, and the rest of the grades are due the 14th. The last couple of weeks, and the first half of June, are full of all of the end of year events and receptions and picnics and oh-wait-we-need-to-hold-this-meeting-before-everyone-scatters. And, of course, the grading, the grading, and the grading.
It’s….a lot. And that doesn’t even factor in all of the end of the year events and projects and concerts and finals and wait-how-many-assignments-are-missing? conversations for my own kiddos, whose last day of school is next week.
Any of these things individually are at the very least not bad, and at best very fulfilling. (Even grading, I swear, is fulfilling. There’s just way too much of it.) All of them together? Exhausting.
I find myself thinking ahead to the finish line, when grades are submitted and the term is officially done. I’m hoping to get some summer planning done this weekend, as a break from grading. There are some family logistical things I need to finalize, and of course I want to think about how to spend my time and energy this summer, work-wise.
Most importantly, though, I decided that after grades are in, I am taking 2 weeks completely off, giving myself the break I’ve so desperately needed for several summers now. I will read and craft and do the puzzle the Resident 10th Grader got me for my birthday. I will cook recipes from the cookbooks both kiddos gave me for my birthday. I will go to the beach every day, something on my 23 for 2023 list. I will spend quality time on my kayak and on my bike. I will nap on my porch. I will train in earnest for the Aquabike race I’m doing in July. I will spend as much time outside as humanly possible. And I will not think about work, at least not on purpose.
Just anticipating this precious break from work is energizing me to make that final push to the finish, to slog with purpose through miles 20-26 and prepare for the last .2 sprint over the finish line.
What summer dreams are energizing you right now?