The Countdown (and the inevitable re-emergence of my taskmaster self)

I start teaching again June 7.  That is exactly twelve days from now. . . which may seem like a lot of time off, but I only count “time off” in terms of relaxing vacation-y time as the time that I’m not prepping for or otherwise thinking about work, and that’s going to start next week.  Actually, the thinking has already begun.  I just won’t start thinking on paper until next week.

That deadline brings the awareness that my time for recharging, reorganizing, re-de-cluttering, and generally re-getting-my-shit-together-ing is almost up, and that gives my wanted-t0-accomplish list more urgency.  It’s behaving like a flickering neon light at this point, demanding that I pay attention and do something about it.  And while my 33 years may make me wise enough to know how life should be lived, I still struggle with knowing precisely how much recreation to how much work, cleaning, etc. is the perfect ratio for my happiness.  I mean, I’m smart enough to realize that my want-to-do list will never be complete (because that would be a sign that I’m not living well), but I don’t think I know myself well enough to know how to pick and choose from that list in the best possible way yet.

And still, a list-maker I am.  So here’s my entire and characteristically unrealistic list of things I would like to do before I go back on June 7 (at which point I will, whether I or anyone else likes it or not, become an all-work-all-the-time machine):


  • Get front flower beds entirely cleaned and Preened
  • Read at least four more books to add to Summer Read class reading list
  • Produce sweet new summer syllabi and class websites
  • Get the house back to its “break clean” state (including everything behind doors, like closets and cabinets), and have a system planned for maintenance
  • Work with Steph to design training for writing consultants and fellows
  • Get some color on my legs so that I can rock my new warm weather clothes (Thanks, Mom and Steph!) without blinding anyone
  • Spend time with the hubs outside, enjoying our patio (this will require some attention to the immediate back flower beds because otherwise, I can’t relax)
  • Spend time with friends
  • Experiment with some new recipes–especially ones that will make good leftovers for lunch at work
  • Build working out (not counting walking Abby) into the routine, and make it a real priority


  • Paint downstairs bathroom
  • Read some more good books just for me (I have four started and never finished)
  • Read good books on reading pedagogy and incorporate/test some of their ideas in summer course
  • Meet Steven Layne, get all stupid and googly-eyed and tell him how amazing he is, and then milk him for great ideas

Probably not

  • Get all of the flower beds cleaned and Preened, with a garden planted, shrubs trimmed, and a yard so gorgeous all the retiree neighbors are envious.
  • Read all of the books on the to-read list and revamp the novel list for Read classes
  • Start designing reading component of writing center

And now, a disturbing confession. . .

Because I’m a taskmaster, my brain is currently breaking down the “Definitely” list into more specific daily to-dos that will, within moments, become a dated list of assignments.  What can I say?  School is ingrained with me, and I don’t get much done if I don’t have deadlines.


2 thoughts on “The Countdown (and the inevitable re-emergence of my taskmaster self)

  1. I got my summer school week one done today.
    I got my summer school online done Monday.

    I am planning on not thinking about school next week.

    Buy some self tanner for those legs! 🙂

    I don’t see a great nap on that list! That must be an over sight.

  2. D — I’ve been using the self-tanner and wearing shorts on my walks with Abby (much to the dismay of my blinded neighbors). 😉

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