This is my first free summer and I feel like I'm running a marathon. I know I've had two summers off since 1999, but one was filled with teaching and working, and the other with working and school. I thought with only working this summer that surely I could go out and have a good time. I had such high expectations, but as we move into July, my expectations of a relaxing, fun-filled summer are rapidly diminishing. Just when I think I have some time to myself, everyone wants me to be somewhere else.
The gunshot to start the marathon began Memorial Day weekend. I went home for the first time since Christmas. It was three-day whirlwind of visitors and trips. After that, I welcomed my fellow Bluecoat Emily to the city. The next weekend, I prepared for my boyfriend, Rob, to come visit from Georgia. I cleaned my apartment feverishly. I donated two bags worth of clothes to the local hospital thrift store, went to the grocery store and helped my two friends with a Target trip. Finally, Rob flew in from Georgia to stay for nine days. We spent every night after I got off of work driving around town visiting with friends and family. I finally stopped the marathon to do four loads of laundry and make another Target run. This week is very busy, as I am leaving for "vacation" on Saturday. Don't get too excited, I'm going to Georgia to see Rob again. It's not a real vacation, but it is some time away from the city and New Jersey to rest and relax. During the summer, I wanted to try and take advantage of all the free activities that the city and Hoboken offers during the summer, or at least keep up with my ballet class. There are free movies, plays, shows, concerts, etc. Every time I say that I'm going to go to a free event I either get home from work too late or am just too tired to sit still somewhere other than my apartment. I haven't found the time to go to ballet on the weekend since my workshop ended Memorial Day weekend. It all seems like a blur when I thought it would be relaxing to be off of tour, not teaching, just doing my own thing. I'm living in the opposite. The summer just means work isn't as intense and everyone wants you to be somewhere else. At least when I was on tour, I was completely inaccessible. If you wanted me home for 4th of July, it was impossible, I was doing a couple parades somewhere. Now that I have some summer freedom, it's taken away by anything and everything else except for drum corps. I started a care package to send to the color guard when I was cleaning out the closet and room before Rob came home, and it's been there since, half full. I need to buy more things to send, but I need the budget first. Hopefully, I can send it to the kids; if not, I'll just deliver it in Allentown. Either way, I'm sure they'll like what's inside. Speaking of the Bluecoats' color guard, this morning I decided to look at pictures from Orlando. As I was clicking through, I found the most gorgeous picture of the captain Ashley Studer, who has marched since 2001. I could have cried right here in my cubicle at work, the picture captured everything I miss about drum corps. The intensity, passion, drive, perfection, and poise were all captured by Ashley. I immediately e-mailed the picture over to Emily, who shared the same sentiments as me. She added, "We should be in those uniforms." If we had our way, we would be, but instead I'll run this busy marathon during the summer. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend. Becky Novac currently lives in Hoboken, N.J., and works for Universal McCann in New York City as an assistant media planner. She is 22 years old and a recent graduate from Penn State University where she majored in journalism and psychology. Becky marched with the Bluecoats in 2000, 2002 and 2004 as a member of the color guard. Past columns by Becky Novac: A National audience Watching warm-up The Revolving door Dear mom and dad Technology on tour It's been a year How to save time Thanks for calling Passing it on Unforgettable The Biggest group project My Aria interview Life outside the bubble A day filled with intangible rewards Traditions make drum corps complete The Art in what we do Hockey, alumni and Valentine's Day Dates Everyone needs goals Adapting Turning pro Wondering about the "kids" Resolutions It's the little things A Rock star Remembering the passion Banquet weekend Missing out Unknown suitcase adventures The Even years