I have not been in my office since August 29th. I took almost an entire month of vacation time (I had to do a hearing, attend a training, and go to 2 meetings during September), and tomorrow I go back to work. The prospect does not thrill me.
My theory about vacations from work is that a hard-working momma needs AT LEAST 2 weeks to unwind from the routine and the stressors. A two week vacation isn’t going to cut it. So I tried four weeks.
Here’s what I did during my time off: NOTHING. And I LOVED IT.
I had big plans to organize stuff around the house. I have a large collection of earrings and I wear the same 15 or 20 pairs all the time, so I wanted to rotate my stock. Instead, I bought more earrings!
I have thousands of music CDs in the basement. I thought I would bring them upstairs and download them to my computer and thence to my iPod. Didn’t quite get there.
I had hoped to organize my clothing and get stuff off the clothes chair, which bizarrely grew lots of clothes after I cleaned it up just a few months ago. Instead – you guessed it – I bought more clothes.
I planned to read a lot. I’m not even halfway through the Sonia Sotomayor autobiography I’ve been reading all summer. It’s very interesting, but I was not motivated to read anything.
I thought I would work in my garden, which needs serious tidying. All I did was look at it, and revel in the glory of my impatiens plants, which are thriving despite dire predictions in the media that impatiens were a thing of the past because of some sort of fatal fungus. Take THAT, New York Times!
I planned to work on crafts – drawing, painting, jewelry-making. Never did it.
I thought I would do a lot of cooking – trying new recipes. I did that exactly once, making a garlic/lemon chicken dish which was terrific.
But here’s what I did accomplish:
• I went through a cardboard box that has been sitting in my bedroom for a very long time. I finally decided to recycle the magazines in the box commemorating George Harrison at the time of his death in November 2001. I reread them, of course, and realized they were not worth saving. I tossed them and the rest of the contents of the box, which is a big step for me!
Sorry about tossing the magazines, George. But I really don’t need them to remember you forever.
• I took a lot of naps. I loooove to nap. It was a treat to be able to nap whenever I felt like doing so, not worrying about the nap keeping me up too late, because I didn’t have to get up early for work!
• I relaxed with my dogs. This has a medicinal value that science cannot explain, but it’s real.
• I spent time with my sweet grandson, who gets cuter each time I see him. He’s currently big into hugs, and when I hold him, he will reach for my husband to give him a hug. If my husband holds him, he reaches to hug me. It’s a fun game of Pass the Baby!
• I knitted several more inches onto an afghan I am making for my grandson. I hope to finish it before he goes to college.
Will I finish by 2030?
• I enjoyed a lovely visit with a fellow CTWM and her charming family, when I took a trip to Canton to visit The Junk Shop, an amazing place full of treasures. I bought a very cool painting while there.
• I went through all of my makeup and got rid of some really ancient products. I can’t believe how much makeup I own, considering I don’t wear all that much and in fact wore none during the month off. I have an obscene amount of eye shadow, which is remarkable because I wear only a few colors. But I have a plethora of those colors in different incarnations and brands.
• I watched a lot of TV. My guilty pleasures are:
- Kathy Lee & Hoda on the 4th hour of the Today Show. I LOVE the Ambush Makeovers. I enjoy being annoyed by Kathy Lee.
- The Price is Right. I have loved this show forever. Now that Bob Barker has retired, it’s a shadow of its former self, because Drew Carey is probably the worst host on TV. He’s so ill at ease. I had hoped Bill Clinton would take on Bob Barker’s role – wouldn’t Bill be a GREAT game show host?
Monica Lewinsky, come on down!
- I discovered The Long Island Medium on TLC. OMG, do I love this show! I seriously believe in psychic powers, and Theresa, who is the Long Island Medium, is very gifted. I especially enjoy seeing her get through the barriers men put up to block out emotions. It’s amazing to watch that happen. She is quite the unusual character, but her mission is very compassionate.
This was a dress rehearsal for what it would feel like to be retired. I thought I’d be bored but I wasn’t AT ALL. I never thought I’d want to stop working but suddenly I do! I’m still too young to retire, but this glimpse into the future was exciting. Will I still be allowed to be a CTWM? Or will we have to create a spinoff called CT Retired Moms?