I harbor a soft spot for the romantic feeling of new beginnings. I adore all fresh starts, from Mondays to new years, but I’m especially primed to appreciate the beginning of a new school year, and, in tandem with that, summer vacation. It’s a huge blank slate that I fill up with dreamy projects, things like “lose 25-40 pounds” or “learn to cook and eat organically” or “create a Tim Gunn worthy closet” Honestly, these are all things that appear on past lists. And for the past TWO years, “move cross country” and “secure new job” have headlined. So this year, when I am at a great place career-wise, and know that I have a lease through June 2010, I want to make a new list. Armed with a little more understanding about myself, my body, and my long-term plans, I’m going to try to keep it light.
Make A List, You’ll Feel Better*
Ashlie Elizabeth, Summer 2010
1. Set up new classroom
I am finally able to spill the beans that I will be teaching kindergarten in the fall! I get to stay at the same school I built relationships in all year, but in a new position that comes with a recently emptied classroom, mine for the making. My big themes are coziness and simple lines. I’ve seen some model rooms that I’m going to work off of, and I want everything in it’s place early so I can focus hardcore on being the best teacher I can be once my kiddos are in the picture. That’s my biggest project of the summer.
2. Phase out red meat; consider trying gluten-free
My sister and some of my dear friends are trying out a vegetarian lifestyle, and although I giggled a little at first, I’m intrigued. I don’t hold too much emotional value in not eating animals, but I could use some sort of diet overhaul. I’m thinking of sticking to chicken and seafood for awhile. I’m also really interested in the health benefits of eating less refined carbohydrates, and I love yummy rice noodles, so I wanna try a gluten-free diet, but it intimidates me and I might just skip it.
3. Go to three classes at the gym a week
I just joined a new gym in Leominster, a town near me, that offers exercise classes. I ADORE EXERCISE LASSES. I avoided this gym because I figured the fee would be much more than my stinky local gym, but it’s ACTUALLY cheaper. Excuse my caps. I’m pumped about this, and trying my first class today. I’ll keep you posted.
4. Get a craft table; complete some of my dream projects.
There is space in our office for a big table that an hold my sewing machine and all my little pastes and glues for the collages I used to like to make. I say “used” because there is simply no room and therefore, I’ve stopped making little creations that I used to adore. Even if I all I do is stop purchasing cards and start making them again, then I’ll have saved money, but I also want to sew napkins and simple bags, and maybe get my scrapbook updated. After seeing UP, the necessity of a scrapbook is glaringly obvious. I also planned out an awesome reusable corkboard calendar that I’ll show off if I like how it comes out.
5. Hike with Ben.
We both talk about. Let’s make it happen.
6. Buy veggies from a local place.
Something else that should be possible with planning and forethought. I also want to reread Animal, vegetable, Mircale, by Barbara Kingsolver, and feel like that fits in with this goal.
7. Make a dream read list; join Leominster library
Because I work in Leominster, I’m really hoping that they will extend to me the generous hand of book-lending. I’ve been repeatedly let down by the poor selection and poor customer service at Bigelow Public Library in Clinton, and I need some faith restored in our amazing public library system. I also want to get my list together to catalog all the great reads I’ve been planning from my book reviews and my book-a-day calender from my sweet husband. Yes, I wanted to do this in January, but I believe in better late than never.
8. Hit the thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales
This is just pure fun, and I always find things that make my house gorgeous and funky and fun. I also find craft supplies and classroom treats and presents for people I love. I want to be well-stocked so when school and life and the hectic Christmas season arrive, I’ll be prepared.
9. Make a decision about Salem State’s Library Media Studies program
Is this my best bet? Is it worth my money? Will it allow me to continue teaching if I choose? I need to find these answers well before the fall. It’s a priority that daunts and excites me.
This is all mixed in with my normal plans to spend time lazing, meeting up with friends for delicious meals, Ikea trips, and traveling to see my family. So full and bursting with life! I am so prepared to make the best of this restful time before the industrious fall comes! What about you? Any big summer plans?
PS- Super stoked to have e-mailed and received a reply from Sherry of This Young House today! An always goal is to be more like these fabulous folks!
*This quote is at the bottom of my favorite TODO list pad by Knock Knock
(Image courtesy of happybambino.com)