Recent Reads is a series for me to feature books I’ve read (or experienced) recently along with my verdicts.
Here we go…
When I meet new people and tell them I work in education, the first thing they usually mention is how awesome it must be to get summers off. I can’t disagree — it’s wonderful. But having all that time off can make it difficult to go back to work full time, especially in a profession that requires so much of me.
In my first few years, I would get blue at the start of July and bemoan the fact that I must return to exhausting days of teaching, planning, grading, talking, etc. I would think, I love my job. Why am I so anxious to go back to work? I felt so guilty about enjoying my summer that I prevented myself from enjoying the last few weeks of my time off. What?
After several years of practice, I’ve identified a process that makes it easier for me to return to work in August with a good attitude. I’ve shared my steps and goals here, and I hope they are helpful for you if you also find that your transition back to work is difficult after returning from a lovely vacation you don’t want to end.
Chris and I celebrated our anniversary last summer with a long weekend in Marfa. When our anniversary rolled around this summer, I remembered what a fun time we had. Now I can’t wait to go back! Although for our next visit, I’m thinking spring or fall would be a better time than July. What were we thinking?
Since people are interested and excited to hear that we’ve been to Marfa, I thought I’d share our itinerary and a few pointers for what to expect in this quirky west Texas town.
Instagram is my preferred method of social media. It’s fun; it’s visual; it’s a digital scrapbook; it’s a great source for inspiration.
Here are a few fun accounts to follow if you’re looking for some added flair in your feed. And, if you’d like, you can follow me @emilypainesmith.
For me, summer is book reading season. I’ve always loved to read, and loading up on books for my summer reading list is a habit I’ve never been able to quit.
Sometimes, though, to sit and read seems impossible. I find this to be true especially during the school year. It’s like my brain is full and reading one. more. word. will do me in. I started an Audible subscription almost two years ago on the recommendation of my Department Chair, and I have enjoyed the experience immensely. It’s been fun to experience books I love in a new way, and it makes my daily commute pretty darn enjoyable. My mom (who has twice the commute time I have) shares my Audible account and has joined in on the fun. She says audiobooks have changed her life!
Audiobooks have certainly changed my reading habits for the better. And, happily, the research supports that listening to audiobooks can be just as effective as reading.
I’ve put together a list of my favorite audiobooks I’ve listened to as an audio-bibliophile. If you’re even remotely interested in the audiobook experience, consider dipping your proverbial toe in the water with one of these gems.
Since I teach (meaning: work full time) from August through May, I don’t work (meaning: read by the pool, do laundry, grocery shopping, etc. during the week) during June and July. Since most of those activities don’t require a full wardrobe, I tend to stick to wardrobe basics and wear them over and over. (My college roommates used to tease that I was like a cartoon character in that way–I wore the same styles on repeat.)