The Pressure’s Rising

You know, I expected to feel a lot less pressure than I’m feeling right about now.

I knew this week and next week would be kind of busy.  Actually, I knew most of June would be kind of busy.  But there’s been a few unexpected surprises (a couple of “special projects” from my old workplace, which I’ve agreed to do, and then the realization that I’ve promised book reviews on two books next week, neither of which I’ve read yet) which have combined to send me into a tiny bit of a tither.

But no more than a tiny bit.  Because I know this spate of stuff is short lived, and that come July 1, I will have free time galore.

Yeah, right.  And I  know of some swampland in Florida I can sell you on the cheap.  Really. I do.

I had a meeting tonight with my friend Pat, the (now retired) teacher I worked with for many years when I was accompanying full time.  She’s running a week long musical theater camp for middle schoolers next week (yes, I’m accompanying). In the fall, she’s starting a theater group which will be based at the church where she’s now musical director.

Last week, she celebrated her 70th birthday. But she continues to think about new things to do, new ways to provide great opportunities for kids and adults in her community, new ways to help her church grow its membership, new ways to have a fulfilling life. She’s extra excited about the camp next week because her 13 year old granddaughter will coming in from out of town to attend the camp and stay with her grandma for the whole week.

I love working with Pat – as extroverted as she is, she’s also an only child like me, and she gets the whole only child thing about needing time and space, and being in control of one’s life. She works harder at getting herself “out there” than I’ve ever been able to do.  But she inspires me all the time.

So in many ways, it’s Pat I’m channeling when I do things like sign up for online courses in writing creative nonfiction.  I’m in the midst of my first one of those right now…it was offered by a blogger friend whose writing and philosophy of life I admire, so it seemed like the perfect way to get my feet wet in terms of taking my writing practice to another level.

This was our first week of “class,” and so there were reading and writing assignments to add into my already busy schedule.  But I’m excited about working with Andi, and also about meeting more people who are interested in expanding their writing horizons. It’s already been fun and challenging and inspiring.

I’ve set up a separate page here at the Byline where I will post my “writing assignments” for that class, should you be interested in seeing what we’re all about.

So, how about you? Is your summer starting out with high pressure, or are things more low key? And which do you prefer?

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10 thoughts on “The Pressure’s Rising

  1. For me, it’s the writing-of-the-review (rather than the reading-of-the-book) that tends to drag on into the halfway realm of I-need-to-do-this-but-oh-look-other-things-I-need-to-do.

    Summer this year has been an awkward affair of a lot of things to do, but little to show for them. I’m looking towards July too.

    • Yeah, I tend to put off the review writing too, and then it takes me an awfully long time to figure out what to say. But the good thing -book number one is great and I’m flying through it.

  2. June is a really busy month for me in Rotary; the Rotary year ends June 30th and all the Clubs in our District (80) are having Installation Banquets to kick off the new year in July. I am going to 6 different Banquets and speaking a little bit at each. I really enjoy it, but, it keeps me very busy as I am also getting ready to start the new year with the Clubs I work with as an Asst Governor in my area.

    I also want to keep up with all my blogger friends and find that I occasionally just run out of time to see their latest posts. Of course, there are other social activities going on with a dinner here and there, and trying to find a weekend day to take the boat out before the summer just flies away.

    I think that retirement in a couple of years won’t be any less busy, just different, as I will have more time to devote to Rotary, volunteering, friends, family and other fun things.

    Sounds like you are off to a great start with your retirement.

    • I’m thinking you’ll be like my friend Pat, who, in her retirement, has found all sorts of ways to do make a difference in people’s lives. She’s very good at that, and it sounds like you are too.

      I don’t know much about Rotary organizations, so I’m reading your comments about the work you do with great interest. I can tell you’re passionate about it, so it must be something very worthwhile 🙂

      You MUST make time for the boat part …a big dream of mine is having a boat and access to water. Sigh –someday, maybe 🙂

  3. I was behind but I’m caught up now, and I left a comment on your grandmothering post. You know that one hit the mark with me.

    We’re having a low key summer and I like it that way. I think and hope my hectic days are over, but we never know about things like that. Life goes where it wishes.

    Looking forward to reading your “writing assignments.”

  4. Summer is “all over the map” and far too tited to my chaotic work life. I am working on “separating” from that right now, in terms of not dragging my job, or thoughts of it, with me. Being part of a company that’s acquired by a large corporation is an eye opener. But, no more of that at the moment as I ponder my summer and cannot help nearly squealing with delight! I love summer. No matter how old I am, summer is vacation time. Years of school ingrained that sensibility.
    Plans? ah, yes, centered around family with engagement parties and a wedding and some travel to the Beach. I love the unplanned aspect of summer with its theme always “reading.” To have that stack of books to read after dinner on the front porch – that’s the thread throughout the luscious, neighborly, green, sweet smelling, splash and cool of Summer.

  5. My summer is always more highly pressured than any time of the year and it is all self-imposed. It’s not just work (which isn’t as quiet in the summer as it used to be). It’s also my (voluntarily and always anticipated) weekends (every one) at the lake — except when we’re on vacation for Rick’s trade show, both of which mean working ahead and staying late at the office. I don’t know why I took an art class right now — I’m already behind!

    That said, Pat is right. And at least you have the flex to pick and choose — and that counts for a lot!

    • Those weekends at the lake are a must, though, even if they do eat up a lot of time when you could be more “productive.” I’m trying to prioritize, and get through the must-do’s, while still leaving some time for the things that are just for me 🙂

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