The Whirlwind Summer

The Whirlwind Summer August 28, 2014

Hooping at GenCon 2014. Photo by Curtis Claspell.Remember how I said I was taking the summer off? Yeah, that didn’t so much happen. Well, it did but only in one sense.

I was intent on resting from the near-burn-out I’d been suffering as a result of the academic job market and other career-oriented stress, and I did manage to do that. As I chronicled in my blog post series over at Conditionally Accepted, I need to move in a direction that’s better for my mental health and my overall life goals, and that means reevaluating my relationship to academia.

So far, so good. I only did a little academic work over the summer, such as prepping my fall course, revising a couple essays for publication, and reviewing manuscripts for journals.

The rest of the time, I danced, traveled, read, cooked, exercised, and socialized. I took on paid writing work, taught dance classes and performed at both paid and community gigs, and took steps toward increasing my knowledge of the professional sex education world. So there was a lot of self-care interspersed with work (most of it non-academic in nature).

I selected this picture because of how it visually represents the whirlwind of activity that my summer became. Performing belly dance and fire dance at a yoga festival? Check. Roadtripping to Philadelphia to hang out with my folklore/foodie friends? Check. Rock-climbing with my husband and leveling up my climbing skills? Check. Performing for thousands of people at GenCon? Check. Learning new hoop tricks and dancing with LED hoops? Check. Plundering my local farmers market for tasty foods to cook and/or preserve? Check. Seeing my parents, grandparents, aunt, sister, and other relatives? Check. Meeting tons of new people at flow arts festivals, conventions, and sex education workshops? Check. I’m sure I’m leaving things out, too, because there was just too much cool stuff happening this summer to recount in one blog post.

So, this summer’s been a good reminder that there’s life outside career angst, and that taking time for myself and my personal goals can be incredibly healthy and uplifting. Now I’m off to teach my first Body Art class of the semester, and with that I’ll plunge headlong into whatever the fall holds for me.

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