One of the many, many wonderful things about being a teacher (besides an excuse to wear flats and cardigans every day and, you know, change lives) is our long summers off. However, this is the first summer in my life that I have not traveled extensively or had a consistent part-time job. I get a lot of crap for it but please remember before you hate on me for this, as a teacher 1) I didn’t make the calendar 2) I wish EVERYONE could enjoy 9 weeks off alongside me, and finally 3) in past summers, I have been a beer cart girl at a golf course, a craft store associate, a grocery store cashier, a nanny, a process server (that was earlier this summer), a painter, an apartment refurbisher, a secretary at a law office, a tutor, a cleaner, a curriculum planner, and a hostess at a steakhouse. I’ve put my time in doing menial, occasionally degrading work (like the time I got repeatedly sexually harrassed as a beer cart girl) and I just don’t want to do it any more.
The long answer is I hate the tedium of retail, want a super-flexible schedule, don’t particularly feel like fake-chatting/smiling people up all day like I did in the restaurant or getting yelled at for not wiping down menus right. I also don’t really feel like acquiring a new, temporary skill set and I DEFINITELY do not want to change the diaper’s of someone else’s kid when, frankly, right now I would very much rather have my own baby. Sometimes I feel like the only thing I am good at is teaching Spanish. So I’ll stick to that.
Therefore I thought I would let you in on a typical day or two of what my summer has been shaping up to be:
5:44am- wake up (I never need an alarm; I am that much of a morning person). It’s summer time however, so now I wake up, realize I have nothing particularly pressing to do today; fall back asleep.
6:30/7:00- wake up and make a to-do list, sometimes consisting of things like “straighten out the solar lights”, “check retirement fund”, and “swim in Aunt D’s pool”
7:00-9:00- cruise the internet,
comparing my lives to others’ on Facebook, reading everything from Buzzfeed to NYT to XOJane to numerous wedding and baby forums. I notice how busy and productive people are.
8:50- declare to husband, who is busily preparing for work, that “I have read the entire internet”. Angrily close laptop.
9:00- get into workout clothes. Lounge around more.
9:15 – complete meaningless domestic activities I classify under “putzing aimlessly around the house”; water the garden, deadhead petunias, empty the dehumidifier, clean out the junk drawer, glue the broken knob back on for the 3rd time, arrange Halloween decorations, organize my lipsticks, pick hairballs off the couch.
10:00- exercise. This makes me feel good and like a semi-productive human. Applaud myself for getting off the couch and avoiding deep vein thrombosis.
11:00 – around this time two or three times a week is actually a very fulfilling, challenging part of my day. I volunteer as a medical transporter/ translator for a local organization that supports our migrant race track workers. I pick a worker up and drive them to dentist, doctor or eye appointments. I sort out paperwork for them, advocate for their needs and translate in the medical offices. I love it. The workers are always humble, respectful and earnest and I really enjoy hearing about their lives. Most work two full-time jobs here as they toil in the migrant-worker horse racing circuit, and send the money back home to Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Chile where they have large families and few opportunities. In the face of self-interest, it’s a great opportunity for me to practice my Spanish, albeit humbling at times when I can’t understand the Chilean guy, Hector.
1:00-1:30- time for my paying job! I walk a sweet but very slow-moving 14-year-old mutt for 20 minutes.
2:15- make myself a spinach shake that’s disgusting but I know is good for me. Use old, semi-rotting berries because I am incapable of wasting food.
2:10- check my school email. Feel deeply conflicting emotions about reluctance to go back to teaching but also my eagerness to re-enter the workforce.
3:00- notice my couch cushions are getting flat and smooshy from me sitting on them too much.
3:30-4:15- take my dogs on a 1.5 mile hike at Skidmore. Excited if I see other adult humans along the trail and attempt to engage in long conversations with them.
5:00- 6:30 – wait for husband to get home. Send him whiny texts with silly emojis and pictures of dogs
6:30- by this time my brain has turned to mush from inactivity and I don’t even want to talk to my husband.
Typical day #2
5:44 – 9:00- see above
9:30: spin class! Get an endorphin rush and swear I am going to crack open my Portuguese books and teach myself the language.
10:45- realize I will never actually start Portuguese without a Brazilian vacation on the horizon. Hide my Portuguese workbooks.
11:00- carefully put a bunch of things in my Target cart online. Don’t purchase any of it.
11:30- text husband something cute
11:33- text sister a lolcat photo or a llama
11:35- test husband something annoying
11:44- text sister a funny dog or bunny photo
11:46- text sister asking her if I’m bothering her while she’s busy at work
12:00- grocery store. Now, for most people this is an infuriatingly busy time to shop, but when you’re not in a rush, things bother you a lot less. No, lady in orthopedic sneaks, you go first in line, I’m in no hurry!
12:45- eat a lunch of oatmeal and bananas. Feel old.
1:00-1:30- employment time! Old Shiloh does not look eager to see me. Pray she survives out walk in the summer heat and she can make it up the stairs.
2:00 – go to TJMaxx for human interaction. Leave with 12 things I don’t need.
2:30- text husband again
2:34- text little sister again
2:50- check out Netflix. Wonder how one online service can have so many incredibly shitty movies and shows. Abandon visual entertainment.
3:10 – cat nap. Very embarrassed if someone calls and asks me what I’m doing.
3:45- take dogs on a our hike. When someone cuts me off while driving to the trails, I just smile. Go ahead, kind sir! Fully understand while old people drive so slowly and without meaning.
4:45- wonder if it’s too early for dinner? I’ve been waiting aaaaaaaalll dayyyyyyyy.
5:00- pester husband about when he’ll be home.
Yeah. So. September will be good for me.