I’m in the final weeks of the summer semester in the middle of my 2.5-year grad program. The last weeks of the semester are filled with research papers, final presentations, and end-of-semester reports. Even if you are the most diligent student and have kept up with all the assigned reading and assignments, the last few weeks are intense. It feels like the last mile of a marathon; you can see the finish line, but it is still far away. I vacillate between telling myself I am almost there and assuring myself there is plenty of time left, depending on the time of day.
I want to get all my work done and do my best, but there is one small problem. It’s the middle of July, the sun is shining, it’s warm outside, and my pool is just outside my office window. I daydream while looking out at the clear blue water and my empty raft traveling in circles around the pool. My heart longs to be outside, soaking up rays of sun that will become so rare in the coming months as winter approaches. I know it’s many months away, but our days have already gotten shorter since June 21. We are on the backside of summer. I can feel it.
Yesterday was one of those days; school work was piling up, there was plenty of laundry, the sink was full of dishes, and if you looked with just one eye, you would see that the floors needed sweeping. There was plenty of unfinished work all around me. At first, I tried to be responsible and “do the right thing”; however, my attitude was less than superb. I was telling myself how responsible I was while simultaneously lamenting that everyone else was probably enjoying this beautiful day outside, on the golf course, in a pool, or at a barbeque somewhere while I was doing housework and homework and being miserable.
Then it hit me.
I could choose to float. I didn’t need to be miserable. I could choose to do what makes me happy.
The work would all still be there when I came back. It wasn’t going to disappear magically. But my poor attitude just might.
I think sometimes we choose not to float so that we can complain. We believe it will make us look good if others see us hard at work, diligently getting it done while refusing to take a break and have fun. Sometimes we must keep our heads down and continue doing tasks we don’t want to. Sometimes, we just have to say no.
SAY YES SOMETIMES
Mark Twain said “Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.”
It’s not just a cliché.
Life IS short.
Choose happiness when you can. Build blanket forts, make peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches, blow bubbles, or float in a pool if the sun is shining. Choose to make memories with the people you love, be spontaneous, and eat ice cream. The laundry will wait, the homework will still need to be done, and the dust will continue to pile up. It will all be there when you get back.
Time, however, continues to march on. I’m not telling you to ignore your responsibilities but sometimes choose to float.
Soak up the sun while it shines.
Written By: Christine B., Masters Level Intern
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