Generally, at this time of year, I am making goals for the next year, planning, thinking, etc. But this year, nothing is happning. This scares me a little, since it can be a sign of burnout.
Every night for the past month or so, I have been coming home, checking facebook, my email, and google reader, and then getting onto google earth and zooming to various warm places around the world - the southern coast of India, Key West, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Playa del Carmen (Mexico), Greece, Italy, Egypt, etc - and then getting online and checking airfare to that location. This was pretty much just wishful thinking, as being a single teacher living alone in a low-income district in a city with a very high cost of living means that pretty much everything is out of my price range.
Then one night about 2 weeks ago, things kind of came to a head. It was raining again, the weather had not (until this past week) broken 60 degrees yet this year, and I was feeling particularly stressed. I was online with a friend who travels frequently, asking him for advice about cheap travel, and I happened to check the Living Social website instead of just reading the emails they send. There on the left, under Living Social Escapes, was a deal for 5 nights for two at a resort on Maui for less than $400. I checked airfare...not fantastic, but doable, so I texted one of my best friends and asked "Hey, do you want to go to Hawaii in July?" She texted back "ha ha right." I texted back "actually I'm serious" and sent her the details...and 10 minutes later we had bought a trip to Hawaii.
This is the thing carrying me through the rest of the school year. It is the goal I am looking forward to in order to get through my national boards test (which I should be working on studying for right now), it is what I think about when I am so frustrated with my 4th period that my teeth are the only thing keeping my temper from escaping, and it is what I think about when it starts raining yet again.
I am doing other cool things this summer - hanging out with my mom here in Washington, going to Texas to visit my best friends, and doing some Seattle things I have never done before - but I have to confess that this is the adventure I need the most. To some people, the thought of laying on a beach for 5 straight days is excruciatingly boring. For a teacher (or this teacher at least), the thought of laying on a beach - where no one asks you for help, no one needs things Right Now, no helicopter parents emailing, no adminstrators need an activity adjusted again, no meetings to go to, no grading to do and no whiny teenagers (at least none I am responsible for) anywhere close to me - is my own personal definition of heaven on earth.
Money will be tight; we are planning on eating out just once a day and bringing food with us for breakfast and dinner,and we won't be doing anything like swimming with dolphins or renting wave-skimmers, but I am really looking forward to this. I am getting into the Honolulu airport 5 hours before K, so my nerdy history teacher side kicked in when I realized that Pearl Harbor is only 10 minutes away, and that quite a lot of it is free. If nothing else, I can walk around in the (glorious, delightful, amazing, warm) sun, even though it will be crowded.
I am also accepting donations. =)
So here's to goals and gifts.....goals of getting to the end of this interminable year, and the gift of being able to afford this escape. Aloha!