I am sitting in my living room in sweats. I haven’t shaven yet this morning, and I might not today. Beside my easy chair are textbooks for classes for the new semester, which starts in about 10 days. On top of that is the paperback I am trying to read as well. It’s quiet: my daughter is still asleep, the dogs are asleep and my wife is away at work. And I am totally happy with the fact that I am not being “productive.”
Why? It’s vacation. Fall semester was a killer. On top of a full load of classes, I edited a magazine, launched a new website and wrote and edited 18 brochures. And at the end I got sick for two weeks. And so for the next days I am doing what I want to do. I still have things I have to accomplish, as well as want to accomplish, and I will get some if not all of them done. But I am savoring the quiet and the lack of rush.
I have a new textbook for one of my classes that I need to go through before Jan. 7. I have software I have to learn for classes. And I have to finalize syllabi. But having done this for 14 1/2 years, I know it will all get done. There might be a rush at the end, but it won’t be the first time, or the last time.
But I am not sweating it. Because I know there are always more things to do. No matter how productive you are, no matter how many pages you write, or books you read, or manuscripts you edit, there are always more to do. And that’s what tomorrow is for. Believe me, I am not a procrastinator. Most of the time. But sometimes you have to cut yourself some slack, because if you don’t, no one will do it for you.
My mother died in 2006. She was a remarkable woman. She and my dad were desperately in love with each other for 47 years. But they often didn’t have the same idea about how they should live their lives. When they retired, my mom wanted to travel. Dad wanted to settle down and run a farm. And so they often went in separate directions. Mom took modeling lessons, went on cruises, and did most if not all the things she wanted before her time was up. Both of them were inspirations to everyone around them. And when I traveled back from her funeral I realized that she had taught me one more lesson. Life is too short to put off doing the things you want to do. If you don’t want to do something, and can get out of it, don’t do it.
That doesn’t mean I won’t prepare for my classes the way I am supposed to. I love teaching too much not to do that. But I will give myself time to enjoy my brief vacation, rather than worrying about what comes next.
Because there will always be something next. But that is tomorrow. And the Bible says, “Don’t worry about tomorrow; tomorrow has enough worries of its own.”