I have often looked to fictional characters for life advice. I'm proud to acknowledge the wisdom of Navin Johnson, Ty Webb, and Pee-Wee Herman. In this spirit, I was recent reminded that David Addison once suggested that vacations never end, they just change location. The break that occurred in the middle of my Spring has now ended and I find myself back at work, where I am happy to return if only because there is still a job for me there.
I actually had a moment at one point in the middle of last week when I had to think about exactly which day it was. The prime time television schedule brought me back to my present. That let me know that I was starting to uncoil. It let me know that I could probably find a way to spend more than a week away from the routines I have set up for myself: six thirty alarm, ten after seven departure, the ride to school, and on and on. The things that give my life rhythm and let me know what happens next. The bells ringing in the background remind me of just how regimented my time really is.
And now the bell has rung for the final round of the school year. The one that has all the standardized testing. The one where the fifth graders start to look back longingly at life with recess. The one where all the kids look forward to next year's teacher. Teachers start to imagine what next year's class might look like. There's another break coming. The big one. The summer. But for now it's a steady march toward the middle of June, where the days are longer and the chance to forget the day of the week returns. Meanwhile, the vacation continues.