If you asked me one year ago what I would be doing with my summer between my first and second year of grad school, I would not have predicted anything like the summer I have had. In my head I had pegged this summer as my last year to do what I wanted to like bike rides, triathlons, and maybe even travel somewhere for my summer practicum. In fact, for a while I thought I might go to Ethiopia for my summer practicum. Instead I have had a truly incredible summer unlike any I can really remember – filled with my immediate and extended family.
I spent 3 weekends in the Chapel Hill area since finishing exams at the beginning of May. Every other weekend, with the exception of one spent with friends in Asheville, was with at least a few members of my family. And the reasons for all this family time are all over the map –celebrating Mother’s Day and my sister’s 2 years of sobriety, my grandfather dying, my grandfather’s funeral, a planned father daughter trip to Canada for the World Cup, a cancelled flight that got me stuck in NYC, a planned entire family vacation to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Yellowstone, and finally my most recent trip to Dallas, TX for my grandmother’s 90th Birthday parties (yes parties.)
Whew. Oh yes, and in between I have completed 240 hours of an internship (well I have about 12 hours left to complete) for my grad school summer practicum. This is not a summer I could have imagined, it was spontaneous, incredibly sad, filled with tears but also with laughter, fun, patience testing, lesson teaching, sibling and cousin connecting, emotionally taxing, and so much more. I am exhausted. And only partly due to the fact that I just started my 13 week training cycle for Beach 2 Battleship half Ironman. As absolutely incredible as this summer has been, it has not given me a dull moment to rest and it still isn’t over. With comprehensive exams in less than 2 weeks and classes starting the following week, I am still going full throttle into August.
I hate to use trite or often used quotes or lyrics but I can’t help but think that this summer was exactly what John Lennon meant by “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” This summer was filled with exactly that- Life. As much as I like to be the entrepreneur of my own life, steering my own ship, often the current or wind has its own trajectory and I just have to react as best as possible and go with it. This summer was not as predicted, it was so much more.
Below are a couple of pictures from Granny Jean’s 90th Birthday Party! (There are plenty more pictures to come since we had a photographer at the first party!) It was an incredible milestone for my only remaining grandparent. I was so glad to be able to celebrate with all of her children, grandchildren, and her great grandchild, as well as various other relatives and her many friends!