What I Didn't Yet Do On My Summer Vacation
Written by
Debby Carroll
May 2012
Written by
Debby Carroll
May 2012

I know lots of teachers eschew the longstanding "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" assignment. They think it's hackneyed and perhaps overdone.


I love it, though, and I always have. When I was in the classroom, I always assigned this on the first day of school, due the next day. It was a written assignment, coupled with an oral presentation. Kids could add art if they were so inclined. The assignment doubled as both writing homework and as a "getting to know you" activity so that students could reconnect with each other and meet the new kids as well. Summer is magical, after all--that's a pretty universal belief of children. (Adults, too, come to think of it.) As a pre-writing activity, we talked about what to include in the essay. It wasn't just about what you did, it was about anything you encountered that summer. Then, on the second day of school, each student got a few moments to read or present their "summer vacation adventure." From hanging out with friends and family to travels far and wide, everyone was given the chance to speak about what they did, saw, thought, read, ate, or dreamed that summer.


I think I'm going to do a version of that right now--only in the reverse. I want to write about the things I didn't yet do this summer, but that I'm hoping, planning, or at least am thinking about doing; then I'll check back in September and see if "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" matches "What I Didn't Yet Do on My Summer Vacation." I'm going to use writing to help me achieve my goals this summer. Here's how...


I've just started a new career, and with it a new blog. After years of studying nutrition for personal growth, I've gotten certified as a wellness and nutrition counselor, and I plan to build a practice out of coaching others. I want to inspire people to find the strategies that work for them so that they can feel better and lead healthier lives. My blog title, "The Joy of Fitness," pretty much sums up my dreams. My mission, my passion, and my goal is to facilitate the discovery of the joy of feeling good for other people. It's worked for me. I want to share what I know so that others can feel the way I do.


I'm going to integrate my writing craft into this mission. This will enable me to use a tool I already love--writing--in a new way. I figure that it will provide me with the motivation and inspiration to write regularly during the summer when I do actually have a bit more time. After all, the craft of writing is very much dependent on having the motivation to do it. This summer I'm going to tie it all together, marrying my mission to my craft.


My daughters have always said that I exude an inner joy. I take this as the highest compliment, because it means that the way I feel determines the vibe I put out there into the world. I don't know that I could do this if I felt lousy. I suppose that's why I've spent so many years researching and studying the ways to wellness. At the same time, I'm also a somewhat lazy person, so I had to find the ways to wellness that were easy for me to practice. Yoga, balanced eating, and running have helped me feel good and increase the joy in my life. Deprivation and dieting are not for me, however, so maintaining a healthy weight is a daily work in progress, even with the exercise I do. It's taken me my whole life to fine-tune what works--to find the strategies that are practical enough for lazy me and yet have good results.


So, what I haven't yet done this summer is this: to seek out others who want help in their wellness journey. I plan to coach/counsel some willing folks, free of charge, in order to hone my skills and to help build a practice that works. I will take the first steps in the next adventure in my life's journey. I will share what I've learned and listen with a compassionate ear. I will work hard to build a relationship with people who want to live healthier lives of improved fitness and increased joy. This will be a magical summer of reaching out and helping others. And I will blog about it regularly with a consistent sharing of valuable, health-related information, I will tweet inspirational messages to my 1000 followers at least twice a week (@ajoyoffitness), and I will continue my personal practices of yoga, healthy cooking and eating, and running (at least 5 times each week).


What have you not yet done on your summer vacation? How will your writing help you do what it is you haven't yet done?

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  • Debby Carroll

    Thanks for congrats, Anne. I do hope that you find something magical to make happen this summer, too.