I have been a photographer for about 12 years or so, and a teacher for almost 25. Teaching is still how I earn most of my living, and even though I am ready to change trajectories, I still love the choices I have made.
One of the biggest advantages of being a teacher has been that I have lived my whole life on the semester system. I have always had my summers off. June 15 – August 15. Same as my students.
Nice. I admit it. In summer I can de-stress. I can focus on photography as much as I’d like to do all year round. I can pursue personal projects and accomplish things I don’t have time to work on during the school year.
The only problem is that as times goes on, it is taking me longer and longer to unwind after the school year. And yes, burnout is a huge issue for teachers, and in my case I am rarely able to fully relax until towards the end of July, which is often when I start prepping my fall classes. I don’t really mean to complain, though. I have a good life.
I could reduce my stress if I just dropped some stuff. I teach, I am on my union executive, I do photography for pleasure and professionally, I write, and within each of those I do tend to take on a bit more than should. The adult ADHD that both benefits and distracts me (squirrel!) doesn’t help, of course.
So today it’s bike therapy. Exercise is good.
Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, where I live now, is a suburban town about 20 minutes from Montreal. To get here from there, you drive down along highway 30 past farmers’ fields, industrial parks, malls and a couple of other suburbs.
I rode all over town today, and was pleasantly surprised to discover some great bike paths. Then after a while I hit a country road to see what I would find.
I found farmers’ fields, a small industrial park, two highway overpasses, and a bunch of big-box stores. So before heading home I stopped at a Tim Horton’s near the highway. It was surrounded by trucks and full of their drivers.
That’s where I wrote this post.
Summer is good.