By this time next Friday, I’ll be back at the grind, starting with some teacher meetings. The public schools in my area have shifted to a semi-year-round schedule, so those unfortunates will start classes on Monday, 1 August 2022. Yikes! That means teachers in the public schools have already been back, which doesn’t seem right. No one besides an administrator or grounds crew should be darkening the door of a schoolhouse in July.
Of course, heading back on 5 August 2022 seems pretty dang early in my book. I notice that my school keeps inching up the return time for faculty a bit more each year. I’m still a tad baffled as to why they want us to start back on a Friday. Classes won’t resume until Wednesday, 17 August 2022, though, so I still have a little time before I really hit the ground running.
The news cycle remains slow, it seems—just more of the usual bad news. As I am writing this post, I’ve spent nearly $400 in gasoline (petrol, for my British readers) this month in a car that gets around 32 miles per gallon. Granted, I’ve been keeping the road hot with lessons and seeing my new lady friend, but, goodness, something has got to give.
When I first purchased my little 2017 Nissan Versa Note SV in January 2020 (in The Before Times, in The Long, Long Ago, before The Age of The Virus), I could fill up my car for under $20. Often, it was about sixteen bucks!
Now, a fill-up my ten-gallon tank is around $38-40. Gas prices are coming down slightly, but I don’t look for that trend to continue (although I hope I am wrong). An increase of 250% is taking its toll on yours portly’s finances, as I know it is for many of my readers.
That said, there are many blessings in my life, and I’m trying to count them daily. My morning Bible study continues to go well (although I overdid it one morning this week, spending two hours reading the Bible—my eyes started to glaze over and my brain turned to mush), and I’m slogging through Isaiah. Lots of God’s Anger and Judgment in that one, but almost always accompanied with a promise of restoration and mercy. I’m in Book III of the Psalms, when Asaph largely takes over and writes quite a bit about God’s Justice, which is pretty terrifying, but also reassuring: God’s Anger is not forever, and He Gave us His Son, Christ Jesus, for our salvation. Good News, indeed!
I’m also thankful for this season of downtime and relaxation. The past couple of school years have been particularly draining, but I find that my enthusiasm for teaching and my desire to get back into the classroom is restored after ample rest. I’m praying for patience and for energy, and that I can maintain my daily Bible reading (which may require me to get up around 5:30 AM most mornings to accomplish, but it’s worth it).
I’ve been dropping some weight, too. At the time of writing, I’m down 14.3 pounds, thanks to cutting back on portions and fasting in the mornings. I’ve only broken that morning fast a couple of times (this past weekend), and quickly got back on it. I’m still far from where I need to be (I’m down from 250.9 to 236.6 pounds), but it’s encouraging to see some progress.
As of the time of this writing, I’m planning on heading down this coming Tuesday to a new open mic at a little bakery in Surfside, so my girl will get to hear me play live for the first time (besides when I have played for her privately here at the house). That should make for a fun little excursion, and a chance to introduce a new audience to my music. I’m excited, too, to network with musicians down at the beach.
Gotta get in the good times while I can. I think I’ve made the most of this summer, though I always wish I could have done more. There are several projects I’ve put off or haven’t gotten around to as planned, but that’s usually how it goes. I worked a bit on a print version of Sunday Doodles—the first fifty editions of it—but I’ve run into some formatting issues between the paperback version and the Kindle edition. It’s going to be a major, tedious undertaking to reconcile the two (indeed, I’ll have to have two versions of the book, essentially), so I’ve been holding off on that. I haven’t been painting as much lately, either, other than one small project for my girl.
That’s it for now. Thanks to everyone for your comments, encouragement, and feedback.