Midsummer Panic vs. the Pull of Lethargy

A dear friend and former coworker always used to say, “After the Fourth of July, summer is basically over.” At the time, we were on a schedule that put July 4 about three weeks into our summer break, so the comment always seemed a little ridiculous to me. On my current academic calendar, the Fourth of July is actually the last day of the first half of my summer. For me, that means midsummer panic has set in.

I have to believe that this phenomenon is not unique to me. I’m sure others–other teachers, students, maybe parents–will recognize it. I am halfway through my summer, and I haven’t done nearly half of the things I’m supposed to have done by this point. I’ve spent almost no time in my garden; I’ve haven’t done as much writing as I would have liked; and no surprise here, I’ve done very few of the housekeeping related projects I swore I would get done. I feel considerably less than accomplished.

Even accounting for the two trips I still have planned, that leaves me with 26 days of summer with which to be productive. That would be plenty of time to accomplish some of those things that I haven’t yet done. But I know from previous experience that this probably isn’t the way it will play out. Sitting on my patio has more appeal than working in my garden. It is much easier to get lost in a book than to struggle through my own writing. And I will always feel like I need rest after the work of the school year more than I need a clean house.

So yes, the midsummer panic has set in. It feels pretty awful while it lasts. But this too shall pass.


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