Running...LotsThere's the training and the running that I did for the 25K run. That's been an aweome and inspiring project (for myself and hopefully, others out there). To go in just over a year from being a complete non-runner to a runner doing impressive runs still feels crazy in my mind and brings a smile to my face in reflection. It marks a major accomplishment in my own life.
GardeningI also worked on and developed a garden with two dear friends. From seeds and saplings to fully-grown fruit/vegetable-wielding plants and bushes, the garden has always offered me a delightful reflection on tasting the fruit of my labor. From tilling the soil, to planting, to weeding to harvesting, the experience is rewarding. From June to September, each day visiting the garden is full of anticipation. What is here today that wasn't yesterday? Has that squash gotten any bigger? Are the peppers ready? What am I going to do with all this kale...mmmm...kale chips! Even when it comes to doing the work of weeding, fertilizing, and fixing/adjusting plants, it's rewarding work. Since my days of being the "Swamp King" at daycamp at the YMCA, I've always enjoyed getting my hands dirty and doing the garden word was rewarding akin to that but also it connected me to the soil in which my food was growing.
I taught two summer courses. American Literature 1 at North Shore Community College and The Horror Story at University of Massachusetts in Lowell. Both were enjoyable, though challenging. The summer classes are a tough bind since one has to do a lot more in a shorter period of time and students' expectations about classwork is even lower than it is during the semester. Still, being in the classroom is always rewarding and helps me think further about what this thing called "teaching" is all about. I had a course on comics in American culture that was supposed to run this fall, but it got cancelled. However, I did spend time preparing for an American Literature 2 course at NSCC and an online course on American Popular Culture at Endicott College. Of course, I also took a graduate course as I'm working on a third's Masters Degree at UMASS Boston.
A little travelling.I had two weekends away. A weekend in Portland, Maine, and a weekend in Hampstead, New Hampshire. Both were nice and relaxing, getting me away from the usual routine for 3-4 days and spending good time with good people. They were filled with good food, an easy pace and interesting things to do.
BloggingI got back into regularly blogging. I've found several different angles and ideas about what I want to write and discuss here and have a good amount of material that keeps me focused on this project. Between writing about running, remembering, making, and making sense of the world today, I find myself finding it creating new ideas for different posts to the point that I have some 20 drafts that I'm working on. It's exciting and that I'm back into regularly writing like I was in high school tells me something about where I am in life (and no, that doesn't mean I'm de-gressing). I've just managed to find a way to make it part of my regular routines and hope that this opens up opportunities for me to push forward with publishing more.
DowntimeI had relaxing evenings of video games , time with friends, reading, writing, and watching movies. I enjoyed the down time, letting myself do what I wanted rather than what I needed. In hindsight, it's interesting to see how much I was carrying around in terms of stress and angst that is now leveled off and allows me to breathe lighter.
All the while, I worked full time too, which is a job I'm still grateful and happy to be at. It was a full summer. Filled with accomplishments, personal challenges, good times with friends and loved ones, and much more. It is probably one of the better summers I've had in quite a long time. That's not to say I've had bad summers, but it felt less chaotic and more rewarding; more relaxing and less stressful. In reflecting here, I realize how much I did, but also recognize how much fun I had.
So what did you do this summer?
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