I’ve been finding it a little challenging to take much time off work. Everything I do is on deadline, and even though the little suckers keep getting pushed out, the amount of work I do in a given month doesn’t decline. If anything, the pile has gotten deeper.
I’m not looking to go on an exotic vacation, mind you: I just need time to do work around the house, mostly the yard, and throw off the yoke of corporate expectations for a couple of days. So I took yesterday and today as vacation, giving me four consecutive days off. Beyond my weekend necessities, I spent the bulk of Saturday and Sunday cleaning out the excess flora under the dying hedges that border my yard. Having that much time to devote to a project without the encroachment of mundane, everyday tasks felt like a luxury.
There’s something about not having to drag yourself out of bed before dawn on a rainy Monday after two days filled with errands, cooking and laundry – my sad weekend mantra – that feels liberating. I keep telling myself that I need to tackle some of these things during the week, but after 9 or 10 hours in the office and an often pathetic attempt to feed myself, sort through the mail, pay a bill or two and harvest what’s ripe in the garden, I just don’t have it in me to clean out the fridge or tackle the crabgrass.
Yesterday morning, I awoke early, lay in bed scanning the news online, did the barest amount of exercise, and came downstairs to eat breakfast and finish the morning’s headlines. I pulled myself together, walked out the door at the crack of 9:35 and commenced a rainy day of running hither and yon. Heaven, people – sheer heaven.
Today will be much of the same. The house is in desperate need of cleaning, I have several gifts to buy, and I’m hoping it dries out long enough for a little weeding in the front bed. I’m having lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in an age. I will, sadly, check my work email again. While I’d really love to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book, it will be a relief just the same to escape from my 8-to-5 life for one more day.
Five more days, I’m sure, would feel like Christmas in August. But for now, four very full days will do just fine.