Wrapping up my six-week summer teaching gig has me feeling accomplished and determined to enjoy the weeks before my school year starts. This is especially important this year because I’ll be taking on an extra class, teaching a new elective and my first honors sections, and returning to a grade level I haven’t taught in years (eleventh). It’ll be an exciting and challenging year, to say the least. I’ll need to be more disciplined with grading, stay ahead of myself with lesson plans, and take care of my health and peace of mind along the way.

But that all comes later. Right now, it’s time for afternoons at the pool and staying up late watching movies with my girls. Time for juicy watermelon and grilled kielbasa, berry cobbler and whipped cream. Time to read some of the novels stacked on my nightstand. Time to continue feathering my new little nest, for amusement parks and day trips and maybe even writing. Time to celebrate my birthday and look forward to a new year with more optimism than I’ve felt in years.

Time to enjoy the golden hours, the shining moments, and each small happiness, as much as I possibly can.

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