The Summer of ME

My husband has always loved Seinfeld and still watches it today.  There is an episode where George declares the “Summer of George” and runs through the park while pigeons fly.  I don’t remember the reasons George has for this declaration, but for different reasons, I have declared this the “Summer of ME”.  Let me explain on this the first day of my summer vacation.

My name is Angie Jelinek.  I am a 37 year old mom of three girls and the wife to one fantastic husband.  I am a teacher of mostly 9th grade science and AVID, but I get the opportunity to teach other science classes every once in a while.  I have been teaching for 15 years and still get nervous on the first day of school. I have a passion for trying to be a great teacher, some days I feel like I am almost there, some days I feel like it is my first time in the classroom.  One of the great things about education.

Our life with three girls is chaos.  I feel, like most parents do, as if I am constantly running on a hamster wheel.  A normal school day has the following schedule. I wake up at 5:30, okay, I get out of bed closer to six.  I get myself ready, then proceed to let the dog out, wake up the girls, get them ready and try to keep it together while I ask my 11 year old if she has brushed her hair (a daily struggle).  We try to leave the house by 7:15, so I can drop them off at school and daycare and then race to school. My commute to school is about 20-25 minutes, depending on weather; a time I usually enjoy to gather my thoughts and be ready for the day.  Then, there is school. A separate chaos of managing close to 200 students, trying to get them to learn something, (shocking) and get all of my tasks done at school. I leave work between 4 and 4:30, drive back the other way, usually zoning out and wondering how I got this far down the road, pick up the youngest from daycare, and get home.  Now this is the worst time of the day. Everyone is hungry, tired, crabby from a long day, trying to eat snacks while I make dinner, do homework, etc. I don’t exactly enjoy cooking yet. Maybe one day. Then, as my children have gotten older, there are practices almost each night for someone, so we get back in the car and drive to and fro, only to come home and get to bed so we can do it all again the next day.  Oh yeah, I try to have a conversation with my husband, who I feel I never talk to, unless it is a logistical conversation about who is taking the kids where and what we are having for supper the next day. Did my grandma feel like this?

Parents, and teachers, are notorious for putting everyone else’s needs above their own.  At 37, I feel the need to regain some balance in my life. Hence, the “Summer of ME”. This is the first summer ever that I am not teaching summer school, so I feel I have been given a gift.  An opportunity to regain this balance. So the “Summer of ME” is three fold. Let me break it down for you.

First, I need create better habits for myself.  I don’t eat very healthy foods, often snacking or turning to things that are not good for me.  (I won’t even talk about my obsession with Coca-Cola, although I love it so much! My students gave me Coca-Cola for my end of the year.  It is so good.) I don’t exercise. I pretend I walk frequently. I don’t. There are many days, I don’t even go to the bathroom until 6 pm when I am at home.  Not because I have a thing about public restrooms, but because I just didn’t. This drives my mom, a nurse, absolutely mad……So we can say I have some work to do in this area.  

Second, I need to find some reorganization to my house and the things we have.  We moved into our house in March 2012. We had two girls at the time who have grown older and we have added a third to the mix.  They have stuff everywhere and in case you didn’t know, girls can be pack rats! But I also think they have learned this from me.  I am not always very good about finding the time to declutter and go through our belongings. If I can shove it in a closet and it is out of sight, I call it good.  Oh yeah, I usually am drinking a coke, while I am “cleaning” the house.

Third, I need to slow down and cherish the time I have with my family and friends.  I will wait all week to go on a date night with my husband. I will talk about it excitedly at school all day.  Then I get home and fall asleep. There are times on Friday nights during the school year, I am sleeping by 8:30.  My husband is not always so impressed with this. I can’t help it, I am just tired! Sometimes, I will turn down plans with other friends because it sounds like too much work to go back out once I get home.  I value these people in my life, but do not have the energy to spend time with them. How pathetic! All we have are people and relationships.

This is where you come in.  Part of this blog is to perhaps, help someone gain the same balance and clarity in this rat race we call life.  If I can help anyone else on this journey, I am delighted to do so. However, I am by no means an expert. I am not even sure I am a beginner yet.  But this blog is also for me. The “Summer of ME”. It is difficult to admit these faults about myself, or about yourself, but they say admitting is the first step.  Maybe the “Summer of ME” will transform into a “Summer of YOU”. If I feel like you might be checking up on me, then I will be forced to report what I am learning about this journey.  We can help each other. I look forward to sharing with you. Please tell me your thoughts and what your “Summer of YOU” might include! Until next time…….

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