Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer and letting go

I blinked, and now I find the summer almost gone.

I had ambitions plans, a lengthy to-do list. I would clean out the home office, organize the kitchen pantry, clean out my closet, organize and print out a year’s worth of digital photos. I would write amazing, stunning, heart-rending Works of Literature. And I would prepare for a career in science writing by determinedly studying the works of popular science writers such as Carl Zimmer and Ed Yong, keeping up to date in the primary literature, and writing blog posts on actual science.

But I let it all go. First my career as a bench scientist, and then the to-do list of personal achievements. This summer, I’ve let it (almost!) all go.

Instead, I’ve been traveling and spending time with extended family members. I’ve held two new baby nephews born to my younger sisters. I spent a week at the beach. I spent every night of that week washing sand out of clothes and my children’s hair. I let my husband get me into anime. I’ve sat on my back deck and looked at the blue sky and swaying trees and thought of nothing at all. I did not get on an exercise regimen. I did not cook healthier food. I did make some damn good desserts.

Instead of working in a lab, I spent every weekend with my husband and family. I spent every day with my bean girls.

I thought I didn’t get much done, but as I write this I realize that I did, in fact, check off quite a few boxes on a certain list of priorities—a “family fun” summer bucket list I wrote at the start of the season. I had picnics with my girls, took them berry picking, went to the local park, the local farmer’s market, the splash pad/pool. My husband and I  took them bowling and to an outdoor summer concert. I didn’t spend much time teaching Legume to read, as I had planned to do. But we’ve almost taught her how to ride a bicycle (I think she’ll have it down within the next two days), and we got her big sister up and biking nearly two weeks ago.

And I think we’ve tried out nearly every frozen yogurt shop in the area. I think that’s a pretty darn fine achievement.


Summer is slipping away; the days are noticeably shorter. In less than 3 weeks, my girls will be back in school. Then it will be time for me to buckle down and get serious about some career and work issues. Then I’ll finally clean out those closets. For now, I’m still letting it all go.