I have fifteen days--including today--that are free of work commitments or professional development, before my calendar year starts. Not consecutive days; I have a leadership team retreat this Thursday, professional development sessions for two days next week and two days the following week.
My husband took this week off from his work. Not because we are taking a true vacation --no one in the family could ever agree on even a day trip, so I gave up trying for that. Instead, he's giving our teenage son driving lessons, and completing home projects like faucet nozzle replacement, mowing the lawn, and fixing my bicycle.
And there's the biggest family project of all this week: helping our college grad daughter prepare for her first job--which just happens to involve a year, maybe more, abroad in Japan. We've been on shopping trips for clothes, toiletries, travel amenities, and gifts for her employers, all of which needs to be packed in two suitcases and a carry-on bag.
We'll accompany our daughter to Houston this weekend, to attend a reception and see her off at the airport. We'll wait and watch her go through the TSA line, catching one last glimpse as she gathers her stuff from the trays and puts on her shoes.
It will be bittersweet, seeing her off on her big adventure, but not scary. This is her third trip to Japan; when visiting last fall, we were awed by its culture of honor and respect. Truthfully, I'd be more worried if she were heading for a big city stateside.
After seeing her off, attention will shift to the coming school year. I'll be the librarian for 1200 elementary students next year. One hundred more students than last year. And I've heard rumors that there may be more...
That's what's got me a bit scared.