As a teacher, I’m very used to having a set schedule that I have to follow. The bell rings at time X. First block begins at time Y, second block begins at time Z, and this pattern continues until the final bell to go home at the end of the day. After school, I have a set routine to follow based on the day, I go to bed around the same time, and I get up the next morning and do it all over again. In a lot of ways, life during the school year becomes like the directions on the back of the shampoo bottle: “Rinse, lather, repeat; rinse, lather, repeat.”
Given the grind of each day, you may think, “Man, I bet she loves Summer Break and having nothing she has to do.” Having nothing to do sounds good on paper. So does being able to stay up until all hours and sleep as late as I want (maybe I’m an overgrown teenager at heart). However, do you know what I’ve learned about myself as I’ve grown as a person (grown as a person sounds more positive than gotten older)? I’m like a fish out of water when I don’t have something that I have to do.
If I don’t have a to do list or an event to look forward to, I find myself sitting around either waiting for someone to entertain me, wasting a lot of time in my recliner, or driving Mr Kisby crazy with “Whatcha doing?” or “What’s your plan for the day?” I bet I ask the second one at least twice a day on average. When you’re so used to your days having to be structured, it can be really hard to have a lot of free time. That’s why I find myself having to have “To Do” lists even during summer to feel like I’ve been productive. Some days my “To Do” list might be simple like “Scoop Litter” and “Pay Bill X”, but there is something about that list that makes my day a million times better. For me, it is the intrinsic satisfaction that comes from checking something off the list. Plus, I love the visual of a completed list. Nothing to me is more freeing than looking at that completed list. It’s almost like the completed list is a ticket to fun and goofing off by doing things like wasting time in the recliner!
I also thrive on having events/activities to look forward to. For example, I’m super excited about starting Virtual Get Ready Camp and Summer Reading with LilKsby this week. I’m thrilled that for like an hour 4 or 5 days a week that we’re going to have a planned activity. Having these helps me to feel like we’re accomplishing something. Then when we’re done, we can spend the rest of the day sitting in his baby pool! Well, he can sit in it, and I can sit in my camp chair and make faces at him. 🙂 I also thrive on having vacations to look forward too. In some ways, I enjoy planning the vacation (aka looking at pretty pictures of things to do and going “ooo, ahh”) as much as going on the vacation. I’m truly a happier, more productive (and easier to be around) when I have a “to do” list and things to look forward to doing.
Now, all of this said. I do enjoy staying up late and sleeping until 9 or 10 every morning. Frankly, I’m proud that I’ve seemed to be able to get LilKsby to accept this routine as well. I also enjoy the occasional day when to quote Bruno Mars, “Today I don’t feel like doing anything/I just wanna lay in my bed”. However, for the most part I need an outline for the day to keep from driving those around me bananas. You know what? I’m finally at a place in life where I’m okay with that, and it doesn’t bother me to not be more spontaneous. I hope you too can find that peace.
The Great Kaysby