One of the treats of academia are the long vacations.


Especially in the summer. In the Netherlands, we generally have 5 weeks without any teaching obligations or related tasks. I usually make some resolutions for these vacations:

visit friends & family, travel, relax at the beach, read good books, write blogposts, spend extra time on my PhD, do more workouts, make some delicious healthy meals, prep barbecue parties, do some house renovations, etc. This year another thing was added to the list. Spend time with my little boy. While I am writing it down here, I notice the large to-do-list I have created for myself to do in the summer vacation.

Usually reality hits me.

Due to the stressful last weeks of rounding off before the Big Break, I usually get sick or tired. Not just tired, but exhausted. Since a couple of years, I have tinnitus when I am exhausted. Tinnitus is horrible sound in your ears that is not really there, but makes you miserable. It is comparable with the buzzing noise you have after a concert. I believe it started, when I visited a club and danced next to the speakers who produced of course too much Db. So please wear earplug anytime you go out! You do not want tinnitus to stick. Trust me.

With the form of tinnitus I have, I can rest for a week and it will go away. However, with my huge summer bucket list, I got frustrated I could not undertake most of these activities. Spending time with my boy was about the only thing I could do in the first week. In the second week, I could write a little for my PhD as he still goes to day care for 2 mornings. Once I planned something with friends or family, I got really stressed out. I was glad I continued a few of my plans as it was always easier than expected. In the third week, I had a little more energy to do some activities for our new old house. It needs a complete renovation and I am still this techie girl who likes to take on a hammer and screwdriver to do some work on the house. I almost crossed a line there again, and I am still not fully recovered. The noise is still there in the background, popping up when I have a bit of stress. Not what I had in mind for this summer…

I am halfway my summer vacation, and this year I learned I need to do less in stead of more things than usual. Focus! Hopefully, I am able to implement this for my second half of the summer. Three weeks left to get rid of the tinnitus and get fully rested before the school starts again. I scratched the -s off the list. Just do each thing once and be happy about it. This will be probably my only blogpost of the summer. And that is OK 🙂