Ten More Ways to Soothe Your Summer

It’s all come down to this…tomorrow is the big day.

Prelim Exam A.

I think I’m going to have a headache, stomachache, vertigo, and nausea all at the same time. This morning I went to a pancake breakfast at the elementary school where I’ll be teaching starting next week, and got to meet all the parents and students; already, it seems like a lifetime ago. I spent the rest of my day talking with some friends on Facebook, rereading some of my papers, rereading one of the plays, imagining hypothetical questions, shopping at Kohl’s, and going to the gym. Now I’m just sitting on the couch watching The Golden Girls and waiting for some food to finish cooking.

Since my stress level is higher than the Capital building right now, I thought I’d get back to something I started at the beginning of the month, but since 10 is a good number, here are ten more ways to soothe your summer.

1. Say thank you.

It’s two simple words that are so easy to say. What the hell, add in a “so much” if you so desire. Don’t go overboard, but tell someone that you have appreciated something that they have done recently, and why. Or, just for being themselves. It’s free to do, doesn’t expire, and can spawn even more calm and happiness into the world.

2. Help out at an event, even when you’re not asked.

At this morning’s pancake breakfast, after the parents had left the school and the children were in class, I summoned over one of the teachers who wasn’t working at the moment and we put the rest of the milk in the fridge so it wouldn’t spoil. Granted, it was soy milk, which lasts for way longer than regular milk, but still, it was one less thing for someone else to do.

3. Buy someone else a gift.

Don’t go overboard with this one, but if the occasion merits, spend some extra time and money, get someone a gift, and make a plan to get it to them ASAP. Something little that can brighten someone’s day. It was easy for me to do today; my office mate and his wife had a baby two weeks ago, so I went to Kohl’s and got them a $25 gift card. We have our first staff meeting of the semester the day after tomorrow. I can’t wait to give it to him.

4. Buy yourself a nice outfit.

New year, new school, new duds. While I was at Kohl’s, I saw a few shirts and pants that looked nice, so I spent some time trying them on and texting out selfies to see which outfit I should buy. I found a long sleeved lavender Oxford with black dress pants, and then a short-sleeved green and white striped oxford with khakis. I ended up going with the second one, which got the better reviews anyway. I can’t decide whether I want to wear it to the staff meeting or the first day of school.

5. Light a new candle.

There was a green-apple-and-kale candle on the clearance shelf. It smells great. It’s burning right now. Unlike most scented candles, it’s a rather unobtrusive scent, and I can actually smell it several feet away, without leaning over it.

6. Make a meal, and eat it off of your nicest china with your nicest silverware.

Granted, I only have two sets of china and silverware (one meat and one dairy), but rather than going out for an expensive meal, I just finished eating some homemade herb-crusted tilapia and broccoli. Speaking of food…

7. Eat some vegetables.

I know, shocking coming from me, but I just heated up a broccoli/carrot/cauliflower mix in the microwave and ate it. Even though it’s not my favorite food group, it tasted fine and I probably got a few vitamins out of it as well. And on that note…

8. Rice is nice.

I just finished cooking some basmati rice, and it came out clumpy and firm just like I like it. I guess if you’re gluten-free, this might not be the best option for you, but it’s odd how something so insignificant can make you feel so normal.

9. Find something to look forward to.

While I was out, I saw a banner across the front of Barnes & Noble; Jennifer Chiaverini is doing a talk and a book signing in two weeks. And two weeks after that is the Wisconsin Salsa Festival in Milwaukee, with a pre-party in Madison. Maybe I’ll try out the new float spa this week or next, or go antiquing in Columbus.

10. When all else fails, Golden Girls.

Even when you’re feeling alone, Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia will always be there with something to say to make you laugh.

Good night everybody. Sleep tight and keep me in your prayers.

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