Last night, after a banquet, I came home and checked my e-mail. No stunning news, no revelations, no startling requests, no nothing. I check e-mail as steadily as I breathe, because, researchers say, an e-mail account seduces, promising gifts: every time I open it there's a possibility that something might happen, life might change.
Okay, I'm an addict, I admit it. My name is JCS, and I'm an e-mail-ic.
Ten minutes, tops. Then I went upstairs and sat in a fat chair, motor running, not just idling either, running, purring along at highways speeds. I told myself I actually had a free hour, honestly and truly nothing to do. Hard to believe, impossible to negotiate. I didn't have lesson plans to create, papers to read, e-mails to answer (well, maybe a couple).
We're arriving, once again, at the end of the semester here, the end of the teaching year. Three weeks ago or so, a good friend let me know that a conference she was planning--and where I was scheduled to speak--had been cancelled.
San Diego, California. Who wouldn't want to go to San Diego? Me? I was thrilled. One less speech/story/prep.
What I'm saying is, that glorious easeful season is a'comin' round the bend--ought to be a song. Oh, I've got a handful of gigs--a graduation speech, a week-long bus jaunt, a retreat, and a scattering of other obligations--but last night, for the first time in months, I actually had an hour with nothing to do. I really did.
The engine wouldn't die or even settle into an idle. What's more, the old Calvinist felt guilty, assuming I had to have forgotten something. And likely did.
No matter. It's getting close--vacation, I mean. I'm at the dawn of that divine blessing teachers somehow earn by too many 16-hour days, something called "vacation." One short week of teaching left. Then, thank goodness, time to breath. Time to coast. Time to write.
It won't take long, and I'll wrestle that guilt to the ground. It won't take long to idle.
This morning, I'm thankful from the bottom of my too-often racing heart, for the sweet break the teacher that is me is about, once more, to be given. What a gift.
Won't be long now.