I could never handle the summer, or the school holidays in general, particularly in my teen years. The alluring break from work is dangled in front of you – six weeks that you look forward to for most of the year, during which there are fewer things that you must do. Mum used to smirk when I said the words, ‘I can’t wait for summer.’ She knew…
I don’t enjoy doing nothing. I used to be so excited at the thought of it, and yet was always disappointed, because within a few hours of ‘freedom’ I was bored, or miserable, or both.
‘Find something to do, or I’ll find you something to do…’ Mum would say, as I moped around the house. Loosely translated, this meant, ‘If you can’t occupy yourself productively (and avoid using the word “bored”), then you can wash the dishes!’
I would grudgingly find something to do, perhaps read a book or watch a film, or sketch costume designs – I have over ten sketchbooks full of those! I never stuck with a task for long, though, because if I didn’t feel like it I would stop. I’d feel rubbish again, even though I tried to remind myself that the removal of academic pressure was my desire all year long. Well, I didn’t know best.
Perhaps it was a nagging feeling that I should be doing something – helping someone else, looking after the house, developing a skill, learning a new skill etc. I’ve always been aware that time is valuable and that using it for the right things is important. But I wasn’t living out that knowledge. It made me feel guilty.
There have been big changes in the past few years. My aim when I’m at leisure is no longer to ‘do whatever I like’ or to ‘do nothing.’ I don’t make decisions based purely on what I feel in the moment.
Yesterday, I found out my degree result: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities with Creative Writing and Music, First-class Honours! Normally I would be bracing myself for the anti-climax – the down after the up – but I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.
I’ve become better at organising my time and creating a routine for myself, even when it isn’t strictly necessary, because focusing on the things that give you a strong sense of purpose is so much more fulfilling than letting days slip by unnoticed.
It has been a hectic time recently, and I’m happy that the next few weeks won’t be so demanding, though not as carefree as when I was younger. There will be more responsibilities as time goes on. I may never have such a free summer again, and so I’m going to make the most of it.
I have plans for holidays, day trips, and lovely meet-ups with friends. I have lists of exciting things I’d like to do, exciting things I’d like to achieve, and exciting things at which I want to work hard.
I won’t have time for the Summer Blues this year!