Ten Things To Do Over Summer BreakWritten on June 3, 2012 from the desk of Rabbi David Komerofsky
Summer, even in the sweltering sauna that is Central Texas, is a time for refreshment and renewal. Sandwiched between school years and academic years, fresh from Shavuot and not yet thinking about Rosh Hashanah, these are the best months for relaxation and decompression.
Every summer I spend a week at Greene Family Camp in Bruceville, Texas and I love it. It’s a chance to get to know the UT-Austin students who are counselors, to catch up with colleagues in the region who also serve on the faculty, and to embarrass my own children by invading their camp space.
This summer I am doing something else for the first time. I’m naturally a list-maker – everything from what to buy at the grocery store to which calls to make and emails to send each day (it’s a sickness and I own it, so stop judging). I made a new list that won’t be completed in a day or a week. Between June and August I will accomplish at least ten things, and be ready for the school year renewed and ready for whatever comes next.
Here is my to-do list for the summer of 2012:
- Exercise every day. This is an almost new one for me. I started exercising in earnest in March and aim to keep it up not just for the summer but forever. The change has meant everything.
- Read two books a week – one old and one new. I have a garage full of books that I’ve either not yet read or have forgotten that I once read, and a Kindle that is begging to be loaded with the best of what’s fresh.
- Reconnect with old friends. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have Facebook friends that I don’t know or can’t remember ever meeting. No idea who some of them are, but they seem nice. Time to find out who’s where and doing what.
- Make some new friends. See #3. Especially people who are a better influence than a few that I know quite well.
- Study something just for the sake of knowing. Not to be able to teach it to someone else, or in preparation for a life-cycle event. Not related to work or Judaism. Maybe I’ll learn to knit, or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll study a highway map of Russia, which is for sure not practical because I’m not going there anytime soon. Knitting is now sounding a little more appealing.
- Try a new restaurant. I live in Austin and go to the same three places all the time. Shameful.
- Quit at least one bad habit. Eating peanut butter crackers every day seems like a good start.
- Start at least one good habit. Perhaps finding time to play guitar every day.
- Spend more time outside in the mornings. Morning means “before it’s in the triple digits.” I usually go from the A/C in the house to the A/C in the car to the A/C in the office. Those transitions should take longer. Everyone in Texas should get to enjoy the wildflowers up close and personal, not just through the car window.
- Clean out my garage. See task #2. It’s ridiculous already. I may have a few boxes of really old peanut butter crackers in there.
Have a great summer!