Aug 252006

I really shouldn’t complain. And especially not because I’m having so much spare time on my hands. Because I’m a teacher I don’t have to work during summer break, or any school holidays. In theory this is wonderful. I don’t even mind earning less so that I have more time; but. Here’s the big “But”:

I’m having big issues with structure. That is with a lack of structure. As embarassing as it is, each friday I’m having a mini-breakdown because of the looming weekend. It’s not because of a fear of boredom. On the contrary, I’m weight down by the sheer number of possibilities. These are the days that I seem to have the time to do everything I can’t do on a workday. Clean the house, declutter, sleep in, read, view films, and produce a CD. Or something like it, anyway.

I try to stop having great expectations for weekends. In my experience free days offer only a little more free time than not-free-days. There still are the chores, and then I tend to do everything just a little bit slower on my free days and to have long conversations with my husband. And then the day is gone.

All this would not be a problem if I could do everything I want to (or even most of what I want to) in a workday, but there’s not quite enough space for something like writing songs in a full week day. So sometimes I have to chose between exercise and practice. Practice or reading. A free day should have space enough for at least two of these things.

It’s easier when I’m not at home, because then my expectations are lower. We’re looking around, talk and rejoice. Only after about a week of looking, talking and rejoicing we’re becoming real cranky, because we’re not making music. this is why we never travel for more than a week. It’s not me, my husband also becomes homesick after a short time.

I didn’t even like breaks and holidays when I was still going to school myself. I always looked forward to the beginning of school. So I had a reasonable schedule and was able to learn something and to meet people.

Since then nothing changed. Having a child helps a lot with the structure issue. A child gives me a reason to keep the same meal- and bedtime on my days off. But little by little we’re eating later and my child’s bedtime shifts. So does mine, because I don’t want to spend all of my precious evening time to brush my teeth and get ready for bed.

Nonetheless I’m still hoping because of the possibilities that summer break brings. I’m still hoping to use my free time wisely. And I’m still dreaming of becoming such a mature person that I’ll be able to cope with a free life without an imposed structure. The one fear I don’t have is the fear of being lazy and doing nothing.

Our big summer break is almost over, but I’m still waiting for that vacational feeling. My dear husband is doing one chore after the other, and the weather has been far from summerly.

I have planned to do the routines (aka household chores) faithfully and disciplined, schedule weekly excursions and every day to write a little song, even if it’s only short or ridiculous. You might cross your fingers for me.

How are you feeling? Do you love summer break? Retreat to the beach immediately? Or are you glad and sad at the same time when school starts again, like I am?

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  9 Responses to “Why I don’t like summer break”

  1. Susanne, sometimes I marvel at how different from each other we seem to be, and other times at how similar. Today, I feel as though we’re the same person on two separate continents.

    My father is also a functioning alcoholic. We grew up with more rules than I can enumerate to work around that, although it was not hushed up or secret. There was a lot of fighting about drinking, even though my mother will claim she didn’t want to fight with my dad because HER parents fought a lot. In contrast, my husband’s family is the type to ignore the elephant in the room. I decided I liked the yelling better.

    There are many times that I’ll say to Tony that he’s yelling at me, when we’re just speaking to each other but I don’t like what he’s saying. I actually feel it as angry and loud.

    I’m anxious to read your post about sugar. I don’t know if I could give it up – I’d probably HAVE to drink then.

  2. What a brave post. Not that what you had to tell was unusual, unfortunatly, but because you are doing the hard work to figure it out.

    I want to go back and hold that little girl on my lap and comfort her.

    As far as yelling, we don’t yell too much around here. But we can sure communicate a lot of anger with a look and a tone.

  3. I came up with the word “codependency” because it’s the same with me. We have both given up our addictions for now, and hopefully forever, but we’ve only just begun to call ourselves “addicted personalities” which is an important issue in admitting what really is. Also rejecting any substitute at times it is so hard for our psyches when we are faced with troubles in our daily lifes or simply with what we are and what we were – the plain truth.
    Old patterns of behavior keep on showing up and dominating us.

    I’m about to let go of some old friends and really panicking to end up as a hermit like so many married men of my age (47) do – before I come to realize I’ve got a wonderful wife and I’m only cleaning up my life to create a space for making new friends (still doubt about that).

    I’m vulnerable and sleepless and I’m desperately waiting for some stability to come. When life feels so bad we tend to even forget to be proud of the achievments already accomplished. But I’m remaining hopeful, I promise…

  4. honest and astute. and introspective.

    damn, sister. i can’t wait to see what comes next.

  5. Somehow I’m thinking that most of us have some sort of addiction going on. Mine used to be booze. Now it’s food. And it’s all around the same issues. It’s an effort to feel some control around the uncontrollable.

    Most of the time, I let it go. Coming from the family I did, I’m lucky to be even marginally functional most of the time. 🙂

    “Codependent” is a concept with which I take issue, mostly because I don’t see dependency as a bad thing. There is no reason we can’t be dependent on each other. After all, we’re not all islands unto ourselves, as much as the prevailing cultural ethic might say so.



  6. Thank you all for your kind comments.

    De, I thought I could never give up both but now I do. I like the image with the elephant, and yes, I would have liked the yelling better too.

    Thank you meno, and I’d like to hold her too. I just hope my son never will feel that way. Which is one of the reasons why I try to figure it all out.

    Husband, well we’re alerady talking about this in real life. It is nice that you tell something about your perspective too.

    Jen, I have the feeling next there should be some lightening up. We laternate that with going deep…

    Chani, you’re perfectly right it is about trying to control the uncontrollable.
    I don’t think that being dependent as such is bad. Being human we can’t avoid it and it is healthy and necessary. I take issue with this cultural ideal of being independent, self-reliable, and always strong.
    Maybe codependency is not a good term for it but it means being dependent on a person with a disease like alcoholism in a way that one thinks such a life is normal. And then repeating unconscious behavior patterns that harm you. And that’s not a good thing.

  7. Oops, alternate, not laternate.

    (This gives me the image of somebody going around with a very small lantern trying to illuminate the dark…)

  8. I wanted to re-read what you wrote about co-dependency because I think that’s part of what’s going on around here with Tony and me. I’m going to write about it…if I find any time! Glad to see more about it in the comments.

    I love the new color! (I find black hard to read)

  9. Until I deal with my primary addiction to others, I will relapse with my alcoholism. I relapsed after eight years of sobriety, because I was unaware that I was codependent until just recently. Now I have five months of sobriety and am attending Coda meetings in Nebraska.

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