We all love Va-cations. We even look forward to Sta-cations. We can do all the long list of things that have to get done and that we save for our time at home when there are no extra outside pressures. The List becomes this dumping ground for all the projects we just can't do on a Saturday because we are at track meets and crew regattas and other sports that take up entirely too much of our Saturday. Entirely too much. Like five hours. How is this a sport? It's more like Spectator What-Does-Not-Kill-Us-Makes-Us-Stronger. I'm not getting any fitness in but it's nice to know my kids are fit. Did I mention that is was 27 degrees Fahrenheit? That it was Windy. That I was trying to help write down race times at the track meet and my pencil was frozen to my rigid fingers. Anyway, that's where the list came in. I was going to attempt to do all the jobs I hadn't done throughout the year during my five days of spring break. Here are the jobs:
Convert our old armoire to a mini-office for ME!
Paint one wall in my bedroom
Purchase new blinds for my bedroom
Hang new blinds for my bedroom
Clean the basement
Clean the attic
Sort the boys clothes that they have outgrown
Donate to good will
Sort our old sneakers and shoes
Donate our old sneakers to Soles 4 Souls
Remove our hall closet walls and make a mud room
Remove our pantry walls and make more room in the kitchen
Call to have our new refrigerator looked at and fixed
I thought I was keeping the list small. I thought Easy Peasy! I can accomplish anything! The kids are in school! My husband is at work! I have the WHOLE DAY! I only need to do two jobs a day to get the whole thing done! Then my Saturday will truly be free!
On Day 1 my friend asked if I wanted to go get a pedicure. How can I pass that up? Plus, that only takes one hour. I can paint the wall in my bedroom Before I go! That turned into a four hour Day of Bliss! The only reason we stopped talking is because we both got calls from our kids schools saying they had been dismissed one hour ago and "Where are you Mrs. Miles?" Just kidding, but that's what we were afraid was going to happen. I took a nap when I got home.
On Day 2 I woke up early to take my son to school. The early shift. 6:30am. So when I had done the morning routine, I thought I deserved a little time to catch up on my sleep. I just closed my eyes for a minute. Really. But two hours later the phone rang. It was my husband. Uh-oh. How were my projects coming? Just Great! Did I get an appointment for the refrigerator? Yes, yes. (NO.) Things were not going well at all. Then a friend called to have lunch. She would share with me all the tips of the trade for coaching track. Can I meet her? Of course I can. I am a Team Player and this is one way I can be a Good Mom, (all my kids are on the track team) a Good Wife, (this is my husband's first season coaching track) a Good Parent (the principal will love me!) and a Good Friend, (I love this mom). And then I can come home with lots of energy and paint the bedroom wall. We sat in the booth for about three hours and then went to school to rummage around for all the equipment we would need. I'm so productive. I took a nap when I got home.
On Day 3 I got the kids out to school, scrubbed down all the bathrooms, washed the shower curtains, washed my duvet cover and shams, dusted the lightbulbs, and then headed out, freshly showered of course, to a little coffee shop to do some writing, some school work, and to finish an online course I was taking. If I didn't have the energy for the projects at home, at least I could be productive with the work stuff I needed to get done. That was my thinking. I ordered a bowl of New England Clam Chowder and a multigrain roll and a cup of their wonderful coffee. I found a big comfy leather chair in the corner by the window where I could watch the last spring snow falling down. I pulled out my laptop and just paused to check emails real quick. One from School - EARLY DISMISSAL. The kids had an early dismissal due to snow. Are you KIDDING. ME. I had to be there in fifteen minutes. I napped the rest of the day.
Can you see where this is going? I am easily enticed by food, comfy seating, and good conversation. My rejuvenation came from good friends, not new pillows. When I would get home from my daily outings, I was a little tired. I would just lie down for a minute. When I ran into another teacher friend and she asked how my closet-cleaning was going, I honestly had to reply that my napping was preventing me from being very effective. It was like going to confession. I did, however, drop off a pair of old cleats to her house the next day. For her son. That felt like penance for my sin.
So the following week, when I returned to work and people asked, How was your break? What did you do? I honestly answered, Nothing. Nothing at all. My house still looks exactly the way it did a few weeks ago. Nothing accomplished, but sanity regained. No harm, no foul. There's always the summer to catch up on projects.
The week I went back to work was also the week that my oldest son began his Spring Break. So when I walked through the door at four o'clock after a long day and he was asleep on the couch, what could I say? Nothing. When he wandered downstairs at 2 in the afternoon? Nothing. He works hard each and every school day. He's often up until 2 in the morning. When he fell asleep downstairs with the lights and the TV still on? Nothing. I know the feeling and I know the face, the one that says, "I'm in desperate need of a LAY-cation!"