How to Transition to Summer Vacation

So I have a list at home of all the things I want to get done this week. I’m serious. First week off from work as a teacher; I finally have time to focus on cleaning those neglected spots in the house, filing away papers, making a few phone calls and selling/donating stuff we don’t need anymore.  This summer I am going to get organized! Finding Joy in the act of getting rid of clutter.

I wanted to write a blog about transitioning from work to summer vacation, especially for teachers and moms.

When my kids were little, that first week off was always so stressful. How do you transition from working full time away from home, to literally working even more full time at home, with no preps or lunch breaks, and with your own wonderful cherubs?

Going away to a different environment to change my mindset really helped. I started to plan a couple of days away at the beginning of the summer, just to switch gears, and that really helped.

So today, on my first official day off this summer I walked away from the house and my list and I went with a friend to the ocean. We took a long walk along the beach from Robert Moses State Park on New York’s Fire Island, past the lighthouse, to Kismet Beach. People own or rent cute cottages along the boardwalk in Kismet and 2 restaurants in town feature lunch specials, including sushi. We ate at Surf’s Out which offers friendly outdoor dining and cocktails. After a yummy lunch we walked back along the ocean, averting our eyes from the middle aged nude sunbathers, and spent some more time watching the waves roll in.

While there is still lots to do around my house and I could use a day to get organized, I do not want to be a lonely, stay at home widow so I take advantage of all opportunities to get out there and make new memories and have fun.  I love a good walk on the beach and visit with a friend.

This week the plan is to break up the day into chores, then exercise and then something fun that reminds me it is summer.  It could be a longer walk outside with my dog, sitting outside and reading a book or taking the kayak or stand up paddleboard for a ride on the water. The important thing is to keep moving forward and taking some time for rest.  I have another year of teaching kindergarten coming up so I need all the R & R I can get.


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At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.

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26 Responses

  1. Christine says:

    I’m a teacher too and I am home this summer with my 2 boys, one age 7 and one age 2. It’s going to be a challenge to entertain both but I plan to do day trips, camps, and visit friends and family. Hopefully I get some downtime but I doubt it. Wishing you a happy, restful summer with many long walks and fun in the sun!

  2. Enjoy your fun summer, spending quality times with friends and family is more important, right?! You are lucky to live close by the ocean!

  3. Great pictures! I would have averted my eyes at the nude sunbathers too. Yikes. I hope you enjoy your summer!

    • runawaywidow says:

      Thanks for your comment. Yes it really is quite amusing to see these flashers on the beach!

  4. mary yowell says:

    This is a great chance to relax! I hope you have a great summer!

  5. Beautiful pictures! Love the idea of taking a day away and getting yourself organized. Summer can be exhausting, but so fun!


  6. atruthfultraveler says:

    Having a break after teaching for a whole year is essential! I can imagine how hard that is with kids, but planning can sometimes be more tedious than actually teaching so it is important to give yourself some breathing room!

  7. Patricia G. says:

    You have some peaceful scenery around your neighborhood. I like the peaceful vibe I get when looking at the pictures you included in the post! I hope you will be able to relax and enjoy your summer with your loved ones and friends.

  8. Niki says:

    I love your photos and how much like summer it looks there!

  9. I hadn’t thought about how it must feel for teachers going from working full on to a huge break – I’d struggle with how to cope with the two extremes. Ot sounds like you’re doing all the right things though to make it a super smooth transition. I was hoping to see a picture of your dog!! 💚

  10. Pilar says:

    Very nice post! It’s always good to prepare ourselves for summer and it is very important to organize to clean the house, finish paperwork, make phone calls and donate stuff that will be useful for others and will make our house look so much better! Nice pictures, I loved the ones at the beach, enjoy the summer! 😀

  11. Loving the pictures! It must be wonderful to live near the ocean. I live in the city and all I see is a concrete jungle daily. I will take me around 3 hours drive to get to the closest sea and it is not the best sea also.Enjoy your summer!

  12. If I were a teacher, I think I’d spend the entire summer at the beach with Pina Colada’s and good books 💕

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