Last year I did a post about what I planned to do over my “summer vacation.” Turns out, it was a pretty great way to keep myself on track during a season that trends toward sloth.
Of course, as a working adult summer isn’t really about vacation. I still tend to think of it as a three month window of time that’s somehow separate from the rest of the year, though. It goes back to my school days when summer was set apart from the rest of the year. As a block of time unto itself, it seems to require special treatment.
Summertime still feels like “freedom,” so it’s a good time to take some chances and experiment. I do the same things the rest of the year. Why not use this time to break out of ruts? If it doesn’t work out, so be it. You can do a lot of silly things and blame it on summer. It’s kind of like going to Las Vegas.
So what do I plan to do this year? Here are my goals. Some are the same from last year. (They’re good goals!) Some are brand new. A few are writing related. Most are not. They’re all worth striving for, though.
- Finish the next book in the Legacy of the Book Mesmer series. This simply must be done. If nothing else gets done this summer, this is the non-negotiable. I’m already behind.
- Have a picnic. It’s been so long since I’ve gone on a picnic in the park. But this year I’m resolving to gather up some yummy food, a frisbee, and a good book and head out with some friends.
- Experiment with my writing. Like everyone else, I get locked in to certain genres and types of pieces I write. I want to try some new things this summer. They might be complete garbage, or they could open up new markets for me. Who knows? The fun is in the experiment.
- Push myself. Like most people, I have a set of comfortable habits and I prefer not to stretch beyond them. But it’s also true that growth doesn’t come from complacency. I need to push myself more. Maybe that means doing more/different marketing, reading more difficult books, learning new skills, or making new contacts. I want to zero in on one thing and really push myself to excel at it this summer. What better time to try than summer when everyone and everything is more relaxed?
- Reread all of Outlander. Not only is it time, but Book Nine has to be coming out soon. Gotta prepare!
- Learn to use Twine. Twine is a program that lets you create old-school text adventures like Zork. I want to learn to use it so I can create some web-exclusive adventures for some of my characters, plus create some new participatory stories.
- Try to appreciate the season. I say this one every year and fail miserably. But I’m still trying. Summer as a season doesn’t thrill me. Hot weather doesn’t excite me. Too many bugs and too much humidity for me to enjoy the outdoors. Too many sunburns in my youth make me a skin cancer risk already. I don’t need to make it worse. And thunderstorms and I do not get along. I much prefer fall. But I’m going to try to make an effort this year to get outside more and find what it is about summer weather that people love so much. I just hope the pharmacy has a double stash of bug repellent and sunscreen on hand.
- Experiment with my schedule. I’ve been lax this year in keeping myself on schedule. After a hectic last year and a half, I keep meaning to get back to a more rigid work/free time schedule. I work best when time is accounted for. If it’s not, I descend into chaos and entropy. That’s been happening too often lately so I need to get myself back on track and practice accountability.
- Figure out our vacation situation. We are long-time campers, but our current camper has had it. It’s time to get into something else, whether that be a truck and trailer, another small motorhome, or give up camping for hotels. We’ve been dawdling over making a choice for months, but it’s time to pick something, act on it, and get back out there traveling.
- Lose 5 pounds. It’s not earth-shattering, but this past long, cold winter was not easy on the waistline. I know me. If I don’t get it off now, it’ll be ten pounds by Christmas. Better take advantage of the nice weather and the fact that heat makes me eat less and deal with the problem now.
- Push myself into one social situation per week. I’m comfortable with my introversion, but lately I wonder if I’m not beginning to cross into crazy cat lady territory. Except I have a dog. My goal is to do one social thing per week. That may be simple, like talking to a neighbor for a little while, or more difficult like going to a book club meeting or a board game meetup.
- Do anything but watch TV. The long winter brought me back into idle TV watching. It’s a disgusting habit and one I need to break. Instead of watching TV I can do anything else. Go outside, read, play board games, work on Lego projects, do a jigsaw puzzle, etc. There are tons of things to do and they all make me feel better than watching TV.
Hopefully come Labor Day I can do a post entitled, “What I did over my summer vacation,” and all of these items will be checked off. I know they won’t, though. Chances are some will have been replaced by other more awesome things. Others will end up neglected or buried under “life.” But if nothing else, aiming for a summer of Getting Stuff Done gives me structure. I won’t get to September and say, “Bummer. I didn’t do anything cool at all.”