Friday, August 28, 2015

What I Read on My Summer Vacation

We'll start school mid-September, in case you're wondering.
We're actually just finishing last year's schoolwork, thanks for asking.
We made it through Algebra II - yahoo!!

One of my students is completely DONE with school work and earned a nice little break, one of my students is wrapping up a few loose ends, and I'm gearing up for the new school year with a 10th and an 11th grader.  That's completely unreal.  Our eldest is working this semester and applying for EMT school, and our second son is working and loving his college classes.  It was such a blast to have him come home from his first day of classes to say, "I LOVE my classes!"  YAY.  

So it's time to start school.  You can read about how I feel about that }here{.  I haven't had a prophetic dream about starting school this year because my head and my heart are still full to bursting with vacation.  I suppose that's when you know you did it right.

We scheduled summer vacation for the last possible week, just before college classes began here.  It was fun to look forward to sunshine on warm Gulf waters all summer, and it helped that so many of my friends went to the beach in Alabama so I could enjoy their vacations vicariously on Facebook.  I'm a big believer in vicarious vacations.  Take me!  Take me!!

I had all of our clothes packed two days before we left.  Six people, eight days - do the math, this is no small thing!  We came home to a clean house with all but a few items of clothing clean.  This was our most efficient vacation prep ever, and Past Me gets a big gold star for all the effort it took to make coming home a pleasure.  This is something I've been working on for YEARS, and I can say it's totally worth all the work up front.  Of course I can say that, now that I'm home reaping the benefit.

I love to anticipate vacation and all its fun, and I also really look forward to all the idle time to fill with reading.  I choose at least two books to read on vacation, something light and something thought provoking.  I think about it all summer.  That's kind of geeky, but I know my fellow book lovers will understand.  Time in the car, time on the balcony, time on the beach - a book lover's dream!  My favorite reading vacation was the one where we went to the beach in early May, and it was chilly enough to sit on the balcony wrapped in a blanket and read all afternoon.   

Before I started reading my vacation books this year, I had to finish The Geography of You and Me, because I have book rules.   I chose this book from the Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide.  Click }here{ to check it out ... so many great books!  The Geography of You and Me is a sweet book about first love and does a delicious job of describing the ups and downs of being young, in love, star crossed, and at the mercy of life events.  It's Young Adult fiction, but well written.  

For thought provoking reading, I chose Brene Brown's Men, Women and Worthiness : The Experience of Shame and the Power of Being EnoughActually, this one is a listen through - if you aren't a member, your first listen is free!  This is a 2 hour program and every minute is packed with wisdom.  I've heard about Brene Brown for some time and was curious about what she had to say, and honestly, I wondered if any of it applied to me.  The answer was yes, very definitely, everything she said applied to me.  She begins with explaining the difference between shame and guilt: shame is about you - shame for who you are; guilt is about behavior - guilt for something you did.   Guilt can be helpful in changing your behavior, shame has no constructive purpose.  The difference is subtle, but consider it and you'll realize the implications are vast.  Listening helped me understand some things about myself that I've been trying to puzzle out for years.  Understanding the difference between guilt and shame can have a tremendous impact on how you parent, and how you approach all relationships, really.  I also appreciated the insightful discussion about what men and women experience shame about - quite the difference there, as you might expect.  I haven't finished contemplating this wisdom, and I look forward to reading more from Brene Brown.

Next up was book 1 in the Survivalist Series, Going Home, by A. American.  I didn't plan to read this one, but my brother-in-law had just read it and strongly recommended it.  Going Home begins with an "event" that shuts down everything electrical.  Everything.  No electricity, no cars, and everything goes dark.  It's not completely clear what's happened, and it seems that a sun flare may have had something to do with it, but there's also evolving suspicion that the government may have played a role.  The story follows Morgan Carter, who is 250 miles from his home in Florida when everything shuts down.  His road home is a long and dangerous journey and will have you thinking about planting a garden, digging a well and getting some chickens.  And if you're on a road trip, it will have you thinking about the miles from home not in hours but how long will it take us to walk it?

Finally, I started The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, on the drive home, since I'd heard that when you read it, you'll immediately want to change your life and tidy up, and I wanted to apply the energy to home and not a vacation condo.  I haven't finished the book yet, but Kondo's premise is that you start not with tidying up, but with cleaning out - in one fell swoop.  As in pull everything out, sort through and throw things away that don't bring you joy, and then find a place for everything that made the cut.  It makes complete sense and the idea appeals to me tremendously.  I'm not sure I can employ the big clean out in one fell swoop in a household of six people who aren't really motivated to clear out their junk, but there are rooms in our house that desperately need magic, and this book just may be exactly what we need.  I'll let you know when it happens.

September is sneaking up on us.  There's a faint tint of yellow in the color of the leaves.  As much as I loved summer and the beach, I'm ready for all things fall - it's my favorite time of the year, I may have mentioned that once.  Same as I enjoyed the beach vacations of my Facebook friends, now I'm enjoying everyone's back to school pictures.  Just let me get one more peek of the beach before I sharpen the pencils.  

thanks to my sister-in-law for her gorgeous beach pictures!

Shared joy is doubled joy ... let's double the joy for both of us - what are you most grateful for today? Click below to leave your comment. I'll go first :

Post a Comment