I’m facing a mindset shift now that I’m back in school, preparing for another year. My 6:00am alarm comes early and I just think about my summer —

leisurely time on my cool, quiet patio, tending my garden, drinking coffee, and watching the world awaken. I’d take my girls hiking on our trails, or swimming at the pool, and by mid-day, spend a few hours writing, editing, and reading.

Now my life shifts toward good and meaningful responsibilities, which I know and love, but as Anne of Green Gables discussed with her friend Katherine, school teachers really are slaves of time. Too much or not enough.

But in knowing this, my unhurried moments with my kids and freedoms like swimming and writing — all those are more glorious and precious.

I’ve decided to lean into the changes and each morning I can recall the beauty found in my summer at home.

I’m giving myself permission to feel the ache and discomfort of this season (sitting in meetings all day, learning large quantities of technology, and sorting through my disappointment with a remote start). At the same time, I’m eager to grow and learn better ways to reach and educate my students.

By acknowledging the good things from the summer — and knowing I’ll soon adjust — I’ve given those emotions validation; then I can shift toward looking forward to the fall with hope and purpose.