One October many years ago, my ex and I took a brief trip to the coast of Maine: three days in Scarborough and two days in Camden. I’m not sure how, but in five days we managed to have a two-week vacation.
I don’t enjoy traveling. Don’t get me wrong – I love being somewhere new and different, or even old and familiar as long as it’s free of responsibilities of work and my normal routine. It’s the getting there and back that ruins it.
There’s nothing very sexy about taking a vacation at your own house, but this is how I’ve chosen to spend this week off. No standing in line barefoot on my way through security, a trip to my house has the added benefit of being inexpensive and free of luggage. I’m on day six now, just three more to go, and I’m happier than a pig in shit.
I haven’t seen many people, haven’t done anything very interesting. Today, for example, I spent most of the day painting – the last, undone wall of my guest room, and just the beginning of a lot of trim. A friend stopped by this morning to bring me coffee and company. At the end of the day, as I cleaned brushes and rollers before dinner, I felt tired but satisfied. The house smells mildly of latex paint, and today’s handiwork is drying in preparation for a finishing coat tomorrow.
I’ve had a perfect vacation, although I can’t tell you much about what I’ve done; I know that I cooked one entire morning and went to the grocery in the middle of a weekday. I’ve been sleeping in (7, not 5) or, more precisely, allowed myself to go back to sleep after my regular 4 am awakening. The end of my week at home is being blessed by a February thaw: this afternoon I took a long walk in spectacular 45-degree sunshine.
But the best part of the past few days has been an absence: of places I have to be, people I have to answer to. It is the best Valentine’s gift I could have given myself.