Today marks Amy’s 7th day of vacation (not counting the weekends). 🙂 The funny part is that I usually feel busier on vacation than during a regular work week.
I suppose there should be two qualifiers to my previous statement:
1) When I say vacation, I’m really talking about a “stay-cation”. Kyle works during all of my school vacations so it’s just me who has all kinds of unscheduled time on my hands.
2) It’s not that I don’t stay busy during the regular work week. In fact, I’m usually WAY too busy with work to think about doing much of any of my projects at home. So, the busyness of vacation that I’m referring to is primarily staying busy around the house; not being busy with all kinds of activities and events.
That being said, let me list a couple of things that have kept me busy:
- Finishing Christmas shopping
- Wrapping more presents than I’ve ever wrapped in my entire life (ALL of the Wing family and Morgan family gifts)
- Making gifts (jars of a pretty Couscous mix and Pretzel Rolo Sandwiches and Turtles)
- Making Christmas cookies (molasses, candy canes, cut outs)
- Making a couple batches of Chex Mix
- Working out
- Creating a 2010 calendar through Shutterfly
When I list out the things that have been occupying my time, it doesn’t sound like that much, but somehow, I’ve felt extrememly busy. I guess because along with all the making and wrapping of gifts and food there is a coexisting element of making a big mess that then needs to be cleaned up. And in addition to all of the holiday busyness, there’s also the everyday busyness of bill-paying, expense-tracking, keeping the floors swept, and making sure we have enough clean laundry so that when I choose to wear something other than sweatpants, I actually have something clean to wear. 🙂
It goes without saying that I would make the perfect old-fashioned housewife because this kind of busyness is clearly life-giving for me. I take pride in keeping a clean and organized home, making yummy meals and treats from start to finish, buying things on sale (and with a coupon!), staying healthy by exercising, and creating useful keepsakes.
The problem with this personal tendency towards staying busy around the house is that I have trouble relaxing. Yesterday was the closest I’ve come. It was the one vacation day Kyle requested so we actually got to spend the day together. I made scones for breakfast, we took a long walk in a new place, we went out for Jimmy John’s subs for lunch, and saw “Up in the Air” while demolishing a huge tub of movie theater popcorn. It truly felt like vacation, but by the time I got home, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. I knew if I tried to sit around at home, I’d quickly find myself in the midst of some project. So….I left…to go to the gym. (Yes, I am one of these people that genuinely likes going to the gym.)
There are a lot of times I wish I could be content with sitting around reading and watching movies and drinking cups of tea or glasses of wine. But, the reality for me is that I have a personality that desires all of the work to be done before I can sit down and just relax. And – the unfortunate thing is that just like the mouse from “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie…”, everything I look at that needs to be done makes me think of something else that should be done. (Example – the Christmas CDs need to be re-shelved right now. And – looking at the Christmas CDs makes me think that it would be good if I could get some sort of organization system together to properly put away our Christmas decorations. And thinking of putting away decorations makes me think of…. Do you see how this works now??)
So – It’s day 7 into my vacation and I’m battling with the oxymoron of loving the life-giving busyness of getting things done around the house that I usually struggle to find the time for, and in the same breath, wishing I could stop myself from being so busy to find the time to relax because I really can’t relax when there is the stress of work in the background of my mind on a normal week.
Needless to say, this vacation is one in which I am learning to relax. And parting of learning about relaxation for me is that I am a person who feels much more relaxed when I have time in life to do the things that I take great pride in.