My spring semester ended two weeks ago, and with the birth of my first child coming up next month, I decided not to take classes this summer. That means I have about four months without any school related responsibilities! Normally, my classes and homework consume a considerable portion of my time, so it is a welcome respite.
My issue now is not trying to fit in everything I have to do, but prioritizing the things I want to do.
How do I spend my summer in a way that allows me actually to take a break, relax, and recuperate but at the same, doesn’t just waste it? I don’t really want the summer to end with the only things I accomplished being beating six Xbox games and watching eight TV shows beginning to end on Netflix. What does it look like to use my time well during a summer break?
My wife always knows about the things I want to do. I share them with her, to the point that I think she gets annoyed because I share endless aspirations and rarely actually do anything about them. Unfortunately, I have so many things I want to do that actually doing them all would be impossible. So how do I choose which ones to pursue?
I do want to play some games. I do have a show or two I want to watch. Mostly though, my hopes for the summer involve reading and writing.
I have two books tumbling around in my head, one a novel and one non-fiction. They are dying to come out and find life in the pages of a completed book. It would be great if this could be the summer of their birth. I’ve been thinking about the non-fiction book and talking a lot about it with my partner in crime, Aaron. I’m hoping since it’s team effort, having the sense of accountability will motivate me actually to make progress on it. I’m pretty excited about it. The next step, I think, is to do some interviews. It’ll be fun.
As far as reading, my list is about a mile long and keeps getting longer. I have plenty of time for reading now, though. I read every day on the bus to and from work, and I listen to books on my iPod while I work, so I’ve been getting through about three books per week that way, not counting any reading I do at home. Right now I’m listening to Desiring God by John Piper, reading The Finale by Calvin Miller on the bus, and reading Love Wins by Rob Bell at home. It’s a great time to be a reader.
I also want to spend time with my wife, friends, and dad and sister, and I want to be prepared for our baby. I might even start exercising (but I’m not holding my breath on that one…).
I just hope I can get into the mode of making progress in all those areas without feeling stressed and stretching myself too thin, as if I weren’t taking a break. That’s a challenge. I tend either to overload myself with responsibilities and projects or slip into a sluglike pattern of laziness and apathy. Neither state is super fun for very long, so I really need to get that balance right.
Anyone out there have the magic formula to help me get it just right?