Like a wisp of a breeze on a still day, I feel it.
Like the far away whistle of a train in the night, I hear it.
Like that spot on the horizon that draws closer, I see it.
Freedom is nearly mine.
I give finals today and tomorrow. Then I have to grade the finals for five classes and turn in my grades.
For three weeks, I will not have to go to work. Not until Jan. 3.
I can almost feel my body collapsing in a heap just at the thought.
Now, I know that compared to many people, I don't work that hard. Some people are doing manual labor or standing up all day. They wouldn't complain about sitting in front of a computer answering students' emails or grading a stack of papers while munching on popcorn.
And I am truly grateful for my jobs, which help pay for one kid's college and next year two kids' college tuitions.
The thing is, teaching at two colleges means that their breaks don't coincide. So when one college is on spring break, the other is still having classes. And this summer when the one college took a two week break before summer quarter, the other college took the week after. I eeked out five days and darted down to Florida and back.
So since last Christmas, I haven't had time when I wasn't teaching.
If I'm smart, I'll go ahead and prepare for winter courses next week. Then I could have two whole weeks not to think about teaching or work.
And what will I do with that time?
Well, a lot of basketball and swim events, plus Christmas shopping and baking and cleaning. Plus, I plan to read a lot and take many walks to Caribou Coffee.
Sometimes, maybe I will allow myself to collapse in a heap, learning a lesson from the cats.
How about you? Will you have any time to relax during the holidays?