I’m sitting in an old (but still trendy) bikini, my Spotify Summer Rewind playlist blasting, using the cabana roof as a shield from the weak New York sun, next to my pool, and starring up at my house where I can still see first era Jonas Brothers posters hanging in the window. I feel as if I’m back in high school, spending the week by the pool until Friday comes along and my dad drives me down to Maryland or upstate to whatever lacrosse tournament is happening that weekend.
I escaped Florida this week to hang out in New York with my mom, brother, and our menagerie of pets (two dogs plus one foster pup, two cats, and five birds). I don’t think I have felt this relaxed and at peace since I started working. Minus the fact that my mom has decided to use mine and my sisters suite as another walk in closet, I’m happy.
This is exactly as summer should feel.
Since I’m not working Thursdays and Fridays through August I thought this was the perfect escape. I’m lucky that my mom is not a fan of socializing (same, girl same) so we have a lot of land in New York, enough to feel like I’m all alone in the world or enough to feel as if I’m on my very own vacation.
As I sit here reminiscing about high school/college tan lines, ice pops, and reading every book that came my way, I wonder how it’s “normal” for us to have a two to three month summer break for the first 21 years of our lives and then go straight to working through the year with only 10 days to take off throughout all 52 weeks.
Unless you’re a teacher – so jealous of my sister – summer break becomes obsolete. We’re expected to be loyal workers from the confines of our cubicle while our summers fly by with days lasting until 9PM and our pools sit there untouched except for those rare Sundays when you’re alive enough to not spend the day sleeping and watching Netflix.
How can we be committed to our work if it is the sole reason we’re not out at the beach playing volleyball?
I love my job, I’m proud of my job, but I love my life more.
I’ve always been one to absolutely LOVE summer time, maybe it’s because my birthday is in the summer so I’ve always associated summer with presents. Or the fact that my dad took us on vacation to experience something new every summer. Or maybe it’s just the smell of burgers grilling on the BBQ and the feeling of the suns warmth on my bare arms. Summer has always been my time to be alone with nature and experience all of these intangible things.
Last summer – the first summer I worked – I let my summer pass by. I was constantly tired from working 10+ hour days. We’re halfway through summer 2020, but I’m not going to let that happen again.
Everyone needs their time to recharge, more than your 10 PTO days and nine holidays.
I’m committed to giving myself the best life possible, whatever that best life possible turns out to be. But one way to get there for me is to treat myself to what I love, and I love summer. Which means that moving forward I will always carve out me time and most likely New York time in the summer. Which also means that wherever I end up with work I’m looking for a place that supports this idea.
I was “lucky” this year that due to COVID-19 I’m already working from home so switching locations wasn’t a big deal but moving forward this will be something I look to.
We’re so busy finding a job that finds us important but we need a job that proves we’re important and gives us what we find important.
PS: I wrote this while outside off the wifi and when I came back in I had a five minute freak out because I couldn’t find it and man, that was scary.