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Disclaimer: Your regularly scheduled program of peaceful presence and gratitude has been temporarily suspended due to a condition known as SVA (Summer Vacation Anxiety).

Aaaah, summer.   How I struggle this time of year.  If you will remember, I had a similar temper tantrum last year at this time, when I worried and worried about how I would possibly find balance and get any work done with the kids home from school when they were neither interested nor enrolled in nearly enough camps.  This year I don’t even have a part-time babysitter to help me sort it out.  I thought I did.  But I don’t.  I am trying not to be bitter about it.

On the positive side, I started freaking out about how I was going to function during the summer a little later in the game this year than last.  This is either a sign of progress or denial.

When the pool opened last weekend, the veil of denial was lifted, and progress came to a standstill.

“Why?” you ask.

Because I hate the pool.

OK…I take that back.  “Hate” is such an ugly word.  I don’t hate the pool.

I might even rather enjoy the pool if I got to go once a week without any pressure to actually submerge myself in water.  I am not much of a water person.  I enjoy sitting next to water, particularly if I am under an umbrella with a cold drink and a good book.  But I don’t enjoy being in water.  Unfortunately for me, my job description over the next 80 days involves repetitive trips to the pool that will involve neither book nor shade with nary a cold drink, and will likely require many more total submersions than desired.

There I’ll be, exposed to the hot sun, watching the freckles of my careless, baby-oiled youth multiply like rabbits right before my eyes. The kids will splash and play happily, showing me infinite variations of the same jump off the diving board, requesting video to capture each and every identical moment.  I will smile and say things like, “That was GREAT!” as I mentally tick through the list of things I could be happily accomplishing if I wasn’t so busy growing skin cancer at the pool.

To combat my anxiety over the seemingly insurmountable number of days ahead, I have been eating junk food.  Particularly chocolate.  And ice cream bars.  This is probably not the wisest strategy, considering the uniform for my summer job.

I know I should be grateful that I have access to a pool at all.

I know I should be grateful that I have the flexibility to be home with the kids during the summer.

And I know that there are starving children in Africa who would give their left arms for just one of the three low-fat ice cream bars I ate for lunch today.

And truthfully, I am grateful.  I really am.  But none of these things makes me want to go to the pool.  Every day.  For 80 days.

I saw this graphic posted on Facebook yesterday (I think it was originally posted by Single Dad Laughing):

freedom-happiness

Monday is my last day of “freedom” for a few months.  Tuesday begins my quest for happiness.  I am shooting for success by July.  If I can slow down and adjust to the non-schedule that is summer and find happiness at the pool by July, I will have embraced summer well before it’s time for the kids to go back to school.  Which is earlier than last year.  And if I get a little better at this each year, I should really love having everyone in the house by about the time the kids are leaving for college.

Wish me luck on my quest, friends.  Wish me luck.  (Wow – I feel a little happier just having written all of this down.)