It is August first which signifies a couple of things for me. First of all, the August Break challenge has officially begun (yippee!!) and secondly, my carefree summer must begin to include some back-to-school planning or I will be significantly behind in a very short while. So I have found myself in a rather pensive, reflective mood today. Not sad or depressed, but rather purposefully thinking about ways to simplify my life so that I can enjoy the journey that fall will bring, rather than becoming my typical workaholic self.
The August Break challenge should be a lot of fun and by taking nearly 500 pictures yesterday at the Omaha Zoo, I don't think I will be lacking too much material this first week. Since the challenge does not have too many rules (in fact, one could argue that there are really no rules), I have decided that I will experiment taking a few creative shots to post to the webpage, as well as several shots to document the events of my life. While I will strive to post a photograph a day, and I want to challenge myself to take pictures every day (that is the ONLY way that I will become comfortable with the camera), I will not pressure myself into posting a daily photo taken that day. You may see some pictures taken last week, last year, or even a few years ago. You may see a narrative attached to the story (in my effort to hone the Journalist Photo concept) or, as school starts and I am easing in to a new routine, you may just see the photo itself. This rather laid-back laissez-faire attitude is quite a change for me, but hopefully this will be the beginning of a new lifestyle and mental attitude.
I have already started working on some back-to-school items. I have all syllabi written and finalized about 90% of them, I have acquainted myself with the new communication software system, and I have read and annotated most of the text that I will be using in the new college-credit writing course. Since I know my pay will decrease due to lower enrollment figures, and I know my free time will be reduced due to the addition of two new classes to my schedule, I have decided to implement a menu plan into our daily lives. This is something that I should have done years ago, but somehow I never made the effort.
Most of today has been spent pouring through favorite cookbooks and tried-and-true recipes in order to help me develop a master list of recipes. I am typically very organized, and so in devising the monthly menus I have decided that I would try to assign a certain food group to each day of the week. For example:
- Sunday = family meal day (roasted chicken, beef brisket, baked ham....etc) These will provide leftovers to use throughout the week.
- Monday = slow cooker meals - since Mondays are the longest day of my work week.
- Tuesday = pasta night
- Wednesday = stir fry night
- Thursday = leftover night - or if no leftovers, then some kind of hot or cold sandwich
- Friday = pizza night (this has been a long-standing family tradition)
- Saturday = impromptu meal - either based on the day's activities and/or the weekly grocery circular.
Hopefully this will be a good start to a more healthy diet - both dietary and monetary.
I am not sure what the week has in store as far as reading is concerned. I am hoping that my daughter and I can catch some matinee movies before school starts. I am very interested in seeing Toy Story 3 and Inception. I have a number of photography books that I have ordered from the library to coordinate with the August Break challenge, and I also have a few books on writing left to browse through before I am inundated with high school textbook assignments. I have organized all of Mandy's photos and expect to receive the prints in the mail by the end of the week. I need to scan about 8 more years worth of her pictures into the computer (so that I have a copy for myself) and then I am ready to begin her scrapbook. I am hoping to spend some of Labor Day weekend focused on this creative activity.
All in all - it has been a good weekend - and I look forward to my last week of summer.
What does the month of August look like for you?