So today is the summer solstice—or for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere—the “first” day of summer. Though since I’m no longer in school and I don’t have any kids, other than knowing it’s the longest day of the year it just felt like any other day.

So what is the summer solstice? It’s the day of the year when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer (for those of us in the central time zone—it was roughly 5:07 this morning [I personally slept through it]). The reason why the first day of summer varies year to year, is because as the world continues it’s orbit around the sun, it will vary a little, which is why the first day of summer is between the 20th & 22nd of June [same reason why the winter solstice varies between the 21st and the 23rd of December].

Sunny day at Stonehenge

One thing that I wish is that I’d thought of taking time off around the solstice and going back to Stonehenge—it looks like it’s the only day (though they may allow people close to the stones for the winter solstice) that you can get up close to the monument. I think that it would have been extremely magical to be standing closer to the monument at the time that the sun rose—when I went last year it was in the fall and later in the day.

As time continues to tick by, I need to focus on determining what I’m passionate about (or at least enjoy doing on a day to day basis) when it comes to science and research. There are areas that I know I’m weak in that I need to start strengthening–but there are certain things in all areas that I need to start strengthening. So the first order of business for the first few days of summer is to determine (make a list) of the high priorities and then determine the plan to get there.