It’s that time again, that time when my kids are away at sleep away camp for a month and everyone wants to know what I’m doing with all of my “free time.”
“Are you going away?”: No, I’m not. Aside from the fact that I’m still not comfortable traveling when my kids are gone—they might escape camp and get eaten by bears, you know—we really look forward to not having plans, or at least too many plans, while they’re gone. The entire rest of the year is filled with their activities, our activities and it’s nice to have a break from all of the coordination required to make our lives run smoothly. Besides, when I travel without them, I spend most of my time thinking how much they’d enjoy wherever we are, so I’d rather wait and travel with them.
“You must have tons of time to write!”: You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But really, I have so many projects that I’ve got to work on while they’re gone, I don’t see a whole lot of writing getting done. Certainly not as much as I’d like, although probably more than when they’re around.
“Is the house really quiet?”: No more so than usual, when they’re at school. The quiet lasts a few hours longer, but I like quiet. It lets me think and recharge. Too much noise gets me crazy.
So, what am I doing? In between checking the camp website for photos (refresh, refresh, REFRESH!) and staring at the mailbox waiting for letters, I get to tackle my to-do list:
Fundraising: I’m helping to run a fundraiser for my temple in November, and there is a lot of administrative work that needs to be completed this summer. So most mornings, I’m at my computer creating catchy titles and writing descriptions for items we’re auctioning off. It’s writing, in a sense...
Cleaning: My husband finds meaning in just about everything. Therefore, we have a lot of stuff and our basement storage area is filled. I mentioned a few months ago that I had seen some houses that looked pretty and started daydreaming about moving. He turned a sickly shade of green, and suddenly we started cleaning out the basement. Which was great, until we stopped. You know that point in cleaning where everything is pulled out and it looks like a tornado hit? Yeah, that’s my basement. So now we’re spending some time going through everything and trying to clean out. Hey, at least we’re together...
Cooking: I know, when the kids are away, we’re supposed to treat ourselves to dinner. And we do. But I really like cooking when half of the intended recipients don’t go, “Ew, what’s that? I’m not eating it.” So summer is my chance to try out new recipes or make old favorites that only my husband and I like. It’s fun when it’s my choice!
Writing: Yes, I am actually writing. I’m trying to make time each afternoon to get at least a few pages written or edited. I’ve got a manuscript out to one of my critique partners and I’m waiting to get her suggestions back. And my next story idea is currently percolating way back in my brain. As soon as it solidifies, I’ll work on that too.
Fun: Of course I have lots of fun planned with friends—lunches, BBQs, days of shopping. My schedule, my time!
Here’s hoping you get to enjoy your summer too, however you choose to spend it.