If nothing else, I hope this pandemic has been a learning experience for all of us. Learning how we handle stress. Or how to cook (or realizing that we already knew). Or how early is too early to start having wine.
And this month has been no different for me, as I came to this realization – I don’t staycation very well.
James and I were slated to be in Vegas at the end of July for a conference we weren’t attending but using as an excuse to go. Obviously, that didn’t happen for all the reasons. But he was still scheduled for four vacation days as was I. The difference being if he didn’t take the time off, he’d lose the days at the end of the year. If I didn’t take them off, I could work more and bill more.
However, we opted to go ahead and take the time off, and we’d just stay home, not work, and relax. We’d have a “staycation.”
Except my first instinct was to make a list of all the things I needed to do but have been putting off. Clean out the gutters. Weed the flower bed in the front. Change out the valves in the kitchen faucet. I suddenly had all this time so why waste it?
Yet that wouldn’t really be much of a vacation, would it? Never once on vacation have I reorganized dresser drawers, dusted the living room, or washed the bathmats. Even if I did those tasks with a glass of wine in my hand, none of that would make for a vacation. Certainly not anything we would do in Key West or New Orleans. Sure, the wine part. Just not the rest.
But part of me was feeling guilty for not at least trying to use my time off to accomplish something. When the shelter-in-place orders went into effect, everyone seemed to be filling every minute of their time learning something new or tackling new projects. One friend in Denver has worked through an entire list of projects he’d been putting off for a couple of years. Surely, I could tackle one or two tasks with my vacation.
While I did manage to complete a couple of minor projects, we spent the time off actually taking time off. We never turned on our laptops. We slept late. We celebrated James’ birthday with diabetes-inducing cupcakes. (Thank you Kookie Haven!) We binge-watched more TV than planned. (I had no idea I’d enjoy The Gilmore Girls that much.)
We relaxed, despite that nagging feeling that we should be doing something “productive.”
However, that’s what vacation should be, whether it’s at home, or somewhere I’m not tempted to clean. Because at the end of the day, a staycation isn’t where I want to be.