Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Refresh and Rejuvenate with a Non-cation

I haven't been home in three years.

By home, I mean sitting at the kitchen table drinking my mom's coffee and eating what she cooks. Her food. I haven't been in her house, under her roof, being taken care of like a daughter should be now and then.

It's only our fault. The long, long drive with two little girls has been daunting enough to scare me from making the long trip the last two years. The budget never seems to accomodate a vacation. There's not enough time between board meetings, committee meetings, kid meetings, adult meetings, work meetings ... meetings, meetings, meetings!

The excuses are long, drawn out and unnecessary. The point is there hasn't been a real vacation in three years. The kind that takes you away, wisks you away, sails you away, floats you away.

And there won't be any again this year thanks to unemployment hitting our family. There's oddly no time now. I'm not sure how that works?

Nonetheless, we don't really need to go on a vacation. Of course, it would be nice. It would be really nice. But, when you live like today is your vacation, vacations aren't really needed. That's just been my motto.

And while the to-do list always outweighs many things, it never overpowers the living in our family. We haven't done a long stretch away but we do things to celebrate living and life and this world around us almost daily -- at the very least, weekly.

Vacations are meant to rejuvenate, refresh and enliven us again to what is our Ordinary life.

But, I love Ordinary very much. I love baking, and doing art projects and just swimming in the pool that we are blessed to have in our backyard. I love just doing nothing but snuggling on the couch with my family. And movie nights with popcorn and blankets and pillows.

So, while we won't be going away for vacation in August, as planned, I do intend to take some days off and seriously pretend that I am on vacation. Here's how:

Staycation: From lazy mornings and easy breakfasts to lounging by the pool, the best part of vacation is doing very little. I mean so little it is almost boring -- almost.

Re-discover the simple things: Hot tea and cookies for an afternoon snack. Wine over a meal. Fluffed up pillows. (A friend of mine even bought all white bedding once for their staycation). I'm freezing things like scones, granola and pancakes so that we can just heat up and enjoy.

Read: Read a travel book. Read about faraway places. Dream a lot. Maybe even devour a beach read by the pool.

Head to the water: Even if it's a day on the local lake being around water is relaxing. I plan to indulge a bit.

Do little cooking: I cook nearly every meal we ever eat -- from scratch. It's crazy but I love it. But, even I admit that it can burn a person out and that a week spared of throwing together big, fresh, local meals is dreamy. Dreamy, I tell you. I will do very little cooking.

Only clean the serious messes: Assuming the house is clean when you start -- and that you have to clean it when it's over -- a week is not too long to just let it all go. Really, it isn't. (right?)

Watch the stars and the sky: This is one of those subtle, life-changing moments that I'm oddly just sleeping through because, well, I do too many things and I'm tired. But I want to be outside, drinking a glass of wine and just relishing my smallness to this great wonder of the Earth.

More ways to vacation while not vacationing may come to me ... like find a quiet corner and just write all day ... but for now I just know that it's a pretty good plan. How about you? Do you have any ways to enjoy a stay-home-when-you-really-want-to-get-away for vacation, vacation?

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