I got my hair cut today. I’ve gone to the same person to get my hair cut for my entire life (since I was three!). Last year, I was at college and really needed a trim. It had probably been at least 5 months since my last trim, and my ends were getting really bad. My college friends tried to convince me to go to somewhere near campus, but I refused. I just don’t trust anyone else to cut my hair the way I like it. If she ever retires or I ever move away, I’m not sure what I’ll do. I mean, I’ve gone to a multitude of different doctors and even different dentists, but I have trust issues when it comes to my hair. It might be due to the fact that the one time I went somewhere else, I came away with my hair two different lengths in the back. Or maybe I’m just crazy.
Summer is coming to a close for me. On Sunday, I’ll be returning to college. I’m not really sure how I feel about heading back. I’m not sure I’m ready for my last summer to be over, but I’m also excited to see my college friends and start a new year. I think some of my resistance to returning is because it is my senior year, which is kind of bittersweet. Just when you finally feel fully established at college, it’s time to move on. I suppose life is like that in general. Change is good, but also a little scary. There is so much unknown about the future at this point. Who knows where I’ll be this time next year. For all I know, I might be in a different country. It’s just a weird feeling.
This summer was also a little weird. It wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t absolutely fantastic either. I think I had high expectations and the summer didn’t quite measure up to them, but at the same time, I don’t feel as if it was a bad summer either. I ended my summer job yesterday. I was excited to be done and have a few days off before heading back to college, but I have to admit I might have shed a little tear as I pulled out and drove away. I really liked the people I worked with and know that there’s a chance I might not see many of them again. They were really sweet and gave me a little going-away present: some pretty (and great smelling!) soaps, a yummy cookie, a store t-shirt, and a Gingersnap-scented candle. It was a good experience overall, and I think I learned a lot from it.
I worked a lot this summer. I really needed the money and the experience is great to have had, but I also feel that I didn’t really get a “summer”. I didn’t get to go on vacation with my family. I didn’t get to visit new places or just spend time relaxing in the sun. I just worked. A lot. This summer, more than ever, I missed the carefree summer days we had when we were kids. When we could play outside for hours, or read an entire book in a day, or spend the entire day at our grandparents’ house. When I think of summer, those are the summers that I remember. The summers when our bathwater was really dirty as it drained, washing away the evidence of the hours spent running around barefoot or wading in the river. The summers when I would forget to eat meals because I was so entranced by a book. The summers when we would play nightgames around our neighborhood for hours, staying up way past our bedtimes. Those were the best of days.
This summer has been flying by so quickly! I entered this summer with so many expectations and things I wanted to do, but I have to be honest and say that I have accomplished very little of those things. I’m not really sure why, but I’ve really been a homebody this summer. Besides work, I’ve gotten out of the house very little. My summer bucket list has largely been ignored. So what have I been doing this summer?
I did accomplish one very big to-do: my bedroom makeover. I’m so happy with how it turned out. The yellow dresser and curtains are among my favorite details! I’ve also spent a lot of time with my immediate family, mostly just hanging out. I’ve watched some tv, but not too much. I’ve worked a lot. I’m working at a farm store and cafe, which has been interesting. It’s definitely kept me busy and has been rather exhausting, but as far as summer jobs go, it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve read a few books. I really loved The Things They Carried and Papertowns (which is currently out in theaters as well- I liked the book better). I just finished The Sex Lives of Cannibals (I think the title is a bit misleading- it’s actually a really good book), which is a good memoir about living on a very remote and hot island in the Pacific. I’ve picked blueberries several times, one of my favorite things to do during the summer.
I have one month left. My work schedule is very full for the next four weeks. I’m trying to figure out how to balance my full-time job and also have a fulfilling and great last month home. This might be the last extended period of time that I’ll be home for awhile, so I want to be sure to make the most of it. I’d love to go kayaking at least one more time, along with hike a bit. I’d like to spend some time in the garden. I’d like to clean and organize the house a bit (I know it’s weird, but I actually enjoy this). If possible, it would be nice to go camping, even just overnight. I also just want to relax, and spend time outside in the sun. This is the first summer of my life that I have worked entirely inside, and I really have gotten very little sun exposure and spent very little time outside. When I think about an ideal summer, I imagine a summer with a balance between resting (reading, writing, just sitting outside), adventuring (hiking, kayaking, exploring, traveling), and getting things done (working on the house, gardening). I’m going to try to hit that perfect balance as much as possible this month. Here’s to August and the last of summer!
If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you may have noticed I love lists and setting goals. I make goals for each year, I make goals for each school year, and now I’m going to add to that and make a summer bucket list. I know, I might be a little obsessed with lists. Just ask my family. I actually broke my list down by month, but I’ll just share the entire thing here. I tried to come up with one thing per each week throughout the summer. June and August each have four weeks, and July has five, so that leaves me with a list that is 13 items long.
Picnic at my grandfather’s tree farm
Go strawberry picking
Hike at Bearspring Mountain
Have a campfire
Go blueberry picking
Visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (we only live about 3 hours from New York City and I’ve always wanted to go!)
Have a sister’s photoshoot
Go to the Delaware County Fair (one of the best county fairs in New York State, this is also the county I live in)
Play 4-Square (haven’t played in years, thought it might be fun)
Go to a drive-in movie
And that’s it! I’m working a lot this summer and have a lot of projects to complete as well, but this might be my last summer home, so I want to be sure to make the best of it. Have you ever made a summer bucket list? What would you include?
Hmm…where to start? My last weekend at school was a great one. I hung out with friends, saw “Pitch Perfect 2”, got a lot of work done, walked, ate ice cream, sat out in the sun, and packed. My last day of student teaching was Wednesday. It was definitely bittersweet. I’ve very happy that it’s now summer and that I’m home, but it was tough saying goodbye to the awesome kids and staff that made the last 6 weeks so great. My student teaching experience could not have been better! I loved the school, the kids were amazing, I felt like I was welcomed into the school “family” wholeheartedly, and I learned so, so much! I will definitely miss the people I met. On my last day, one of first graders told me, “The past 6 weeks have been the best 6 weeks of my life!” I might have teared up a bit.
I packed my car Tuesday night and was on the road heading home with way too much stuff as soon as possible. Seriously, way too much stuff. Every year, I seem to accumulate more and more stuff. I don’t know how it all fit in my dorm room. It’s Sunday, and I’ve only made a small dent in the unpacking. I have no clue where to put it all! I’ve spent several hours today going through everything and also going through everything already in my room. There’s still a long way to go.
I had a lot of money left on my meal card, so I also bought TONS of groceries at the little “grocery” store on campus to bring home- over 20 pounds of pasta, 8 boxes of cereal, and much more! As you might imagine, finding places to store all that food in our kitchen has also proven challenging.
I start work on Tuesday. I’m working at a little general store/cafe. I’m excited (and the money doesn’t hurt either). I also painted yesterday for friends and am babysitting some in the next few weeks.
I think this summer will be busy but good. I have lots of things I want to do!