Several weeks ago I was at an after-church social and I asked this girl how her summer was going. Her reply was, "I'm not gonna lie--it's been really boring."
I could definitely relate. I was that girl last summer (and the summer before that, and before that, and before that . . . ). Not counting the week I spent romping through California, I spent most of last summer bored. It's no coincidence that it was just over a year ago that I made the decision to go back to school.
But this summer was different. Even though I never crossed any Utah state lines, rode any roller coasters, or actually slept in a tent outside; even though my job was, shall we say, less than thrilling; even though I was stressed about a lot of things, it was a good, full summer, one that I can look back on without any regrets.
And I think I know why: school. School was the salt of my summer, the ingredient that enriched everything else. With about 20 hours a week dedicated to studying British literature, experimenting with creative nonfiction writing, and trying to digest the mess that is modern publishing, my mind got the nourishment it needed to keep the rest of me happy and productive. Not too long ago, four months of homework-less bliss was the highlight of my summer, but my have the tides changed.
*That's not to say I enjoyed every moment of school. I still hate research papers. And there were days I really struggled summoning the willpower to get even just a half hour of work done.*
It's highly likely that my fondness for summer school is due to the fact that I don't have school for the next three weeks, so I'm feeling a lot more forgiving of the thing that monopolized so many of my evenings and Saturdays.
So, it's been a pretty good summer. In addition to my literary life, I also found golden nuggets in many other simple things, such as:
- Softball. As much fun as I had playing, I consider it a small miracle that my social ineptitudes never managed to talk me out of going to a game.
- Rainstorms. I played softball and kickball in the rain, and I went on the most glorious walk of my life in the warm evening rain.
- Summer evening walks. One of my favorite things about summer. It's going to be really hard to give those up when temperatures plummet to the 40s.
- Drives with all four windows rolled down. Another one of my favorite things about summer.
- Harry Potter. Harry Potter has brought so much happiness into my life, and it's been wonderful to visit the Wizarding world again. I'm finishing book 7 tonight and I'm already feeling the painful compression in my chest that means I won't escape withdrawal pains this time either.
- Time with friends and family.
- Rewatching my favorite TV shows. Man, it's nice to have the occasional 43-minute escape from life, especially since it's easier on the eyes than reading.