School will end in seven days; a fast-paced, sweaty, and exhilarating sense of twelve weeks of possibilities.  Time to finish all the paperwork, strip the walls, cover the books, and wave goodbye to all the students who anxiously wait on the front lawn of the school for their last bus ride home.  The teachers watch the last of the yellow busses wind their way up the school’s driveway and silently exhale in relief for they, like the children, are ready for a much needed break.

It’s already been in the 90’s and the air conditioner has brought some respite, although I would rather be outside….toes buried in beach sand, feeling the coolness of the water on my cheeks.  I have much work yet to do before I rest and like a child, I try to rationalize why I need to be doing other “things” besides studying.  I allow my petulant inner child sway me for a day until the volumes of journal articles and my keyboard draw me back, into the world of academics.  

As the long, steamy days of a Maine summer approach, I find myself ready to reinvent myself, shedding baggage from a long winter and school year while making a list, burrs of sorts, that need this time to be laid to rest, acknowledged, and stored away where they no longer hold me in such an agonizing grip.  

I suffer from depression and anxiety; sometimes it feels as though I need a new label like bipolar II and a healthy dose of lithium.  Leanne Rimes writes in this week’s issue of People Magazine how, during her divorce, she suffered the same as I have….the difference being she checked herself into a hospital and underwent intensive therapy.  I thought, ” how lucky she was” for my world collapsed and then turned its back on me.  Little did “they” realize what a horrible feeling it is….laying in a dark room for days, listless, praying to die.  Dragging an unwilling body and mind to move forward…even if it was in the wrong direction.  I have a recurring dream that I am talking, but no-one listens.  Sometimes I dream that I am running, always running, and how glorious it feels.  Then there are the dreams where everyone is happy, laughter is everywhere, and I wake feeling so happy to be loved…until I realize its just another dream.

No one really wants to know about this part of me (except my therapist of course) but I think talking about it takes the sting out of it, the shame in that I’m not perfect or superwoman or as strong as you think.  Here however, on this quiet Sunday morning watching the impatiens arch their backs towards the sun, I remember that every day is a new beginning and just how much that single thought was a focal point to how I created my place in the world.  I am lucky however, or blessed, or even humbled at the strength of love and its bond; my sons kept me alive even though they were unaware of just how dark my heart was behind my eyes. They made me laugh when I didn’t want to, teased and tickled me when I tried to escape them, and reminded me on a constant basis that I was here for a reason, and for that  and so many other moments we have since shared, my glass is half full most days now.

I deactivated my FB account for the summer; it’s too addictive to waste time reading so many posts daily when I could be reading a novel just-for-fun.  I will probably suffer withdrawal symptoms so the book store is at the top of my to do list.  I packed away any credit card that might tempt me to live wildly on a whim…..I do believe if I follow the mantra of want vs. need I have everything I need…(except of course a good book 🙂 ! 

I bought a new beach chair and towel, cleaned every nook of my little home, sorted through research scattered everywhere and bought a new legal pad to take notes.  All that is left is my grade book closing, and updating files.  I think summer is a good time for taking care of oneself and feeling no guilt over simply enjoying each passing day.