We’re enjoying our last few days of summer here, but I always feel a little guilty about the things that didn’t get done. As a teacher, I tend to make a big long list of goals and projects when I see those weeks stretched before me and it seems like we have so much time off. But then the days fly by, and though I’ve managed to get a lot done, there are inevitably things that didn’t happen.
I’m focusing on what my friend calls the “ta-da list” instead of the to-do list though. In hindsight, I managed to accomplish a lot – especially with two little kids underfoot. I did some fun things with the family — we picked strawberries, spent a day at the science museum, explored the farmer’s market a few times, and of course ventured to Mexico for a little trip. I read a good bit – for my current season of life at least. An unlikely favorite was this non-fiction work I read. I also loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things as a stand-out read of the summer. I had a great anniversary date with Scott and a few just-because dates. I hung out with girlfriends and nurtured friendships with a few outings and dinner clubs.
I’ve also been reading a lot about health and nutrition a lot these days as a new interest of mine. I always hated science in school, biology included. But sometimes I wish I could go back and see those classes with a different perspective now that I’ve gained an interest in childbirth and pediatrics and nutrition and food. I heard a fascinating interview on NPR last weekend that made me want to buy the book and read more about the value of particular foods, so I downloaded it on my Kindle last night and have just begun reading it. It’s interesting for me to consider how my eating habits have changed over the last few years and how it all happens in little steps. But now that we are past the purge of processed food and such, I am reading and exploring about the more specific aspects of nutrition and especially those foods that fight cancer, inflammation, and chronic diseases.
On that note, I’ve been learning a lot more about gut health and it’s role in our immune systems, and at the encouragement of a friend, I started brewing my own water kefir which is not nearly as gross or complicated as it probably sounds. One shot-sized portion is equal to something like 30 probiotic pills, and my kids are starting to request it by name. Anything I can do to combat the germs of the school year is a must for me. We spent so much time last winter sick, and I am really hoping for better results this year as it’s their second year in full-time school and I’ve added a few immune-boosting routines for us.
My other big discovery this summer has been playing around with essential oils. I ordered a kit and became addicted to a lavender-cedarwood mix at night to enhance sleep. There are also some pretty convincing studies out there connecting Thieves oil with immunity, so I’m willing to give that one a try during this school year as well. It’s been a fun endeavor to experiment with different scents and combinations.
We head back to school on Monday, and I’m feeling rested and ready. It’s been such a good summer, and like every other occasion lately, it slipped through my fingers so quickly. I’m working hard to savor the months ahead in the fall and remember that even the bumpy transition of August can have its fun excitement. I’m hoping to get in an evening swim, a donut date, and some back porch sippin’ this weekend as we count down to a new year. Cheers, summer 2014. You were a good one.