“Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.” ― Patti Digh
As I transition from work mode to summer mode, I am finding that I am struggling to get from being super busy not having as much to do. I teach 5th grade math and science at a high need Title I school in North Carolina. Now that we are exiting the shutdown phase of the pandemic the needs are ever higher than before. My last school year was one of the most stressful school years that I have ever had. That’s the reason I chose not to do any work this summer. I needed some time to just relax and unwind. I started planning for this moment earlier in the school year. I started to take a large portion of my pay check out each month in order to be able to afford not to work during the summer. The transition from work to summer break can be a challenge. I go from having to work about 10 to 12 hours a day to not having to work at all. I also typically have to work in the evenings as well. It’s a big change from having a lot of work to do to having basically no work requirements at all. I have to tell myself that I do not need to have accomplished a lot in a day, and sometimes tell myself the goal is to just relax.
I took these photos when I visited Great Smoky Mountain National Park last winter. I found a place to pull over that they called a nature lookout spot. When I stepped out of the truck, I heard the river from nearby. I decided to hike down the hill to check it out. The walk was a little further than I anticipated, but it was worth it. It was really cloudy that day. I was bummed out because the lighting outside wasn’t what I wanted it to be. However, I took advantage of the poor light and used a slow shutter speed to capture the stream. I took me a few minutes to get these shots captured. As I was leaving, I heard a whistle in the background. I thought it was a traffic cop of some sorts, but it turns out it was my wife trying to get my attention. Apparently, she saw bears at the top of the hill, and she thought that I was eaten by one. She would have called me, but there was no cell reception. Lucky for me I didn’t see any bears, and I took some good pictures.
How do you slow down when you need to?