Ode to the “Staycation”

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The happiness and relaxation that I felt immediately upon rising today has translated into so many other things, creativity being one of them.

When you take time off from work and the heat index is well over 100 degrees, as it has been here in northern Virginia these days, some people leave town. They go to the beach, retreat into the mountains, or migrate up north to drier, cooler air. I’m not “some people.” I decided to stay home and have a “staycation.” (It also doesn’t hurt that I love where I live and don’t consider being at home a bad thing.)

Today was the first of four days of pure, blissful freedom. Freedom to do whatever the hell I want. So how did I spend it? I slept in (until 7:30 AM), and decided that today was the day I would tackle my free online Craftsy class, (courtesy of Michael’s which had a free offering of one Craftsy class as part of a recent promotion). I’ll blog more about my Craftsy experience next week, especially since my project isn’t quite finished. This week, I want to focus on the idea of having a “staycation.”

Weekends don’t count. Weekends are a given for most of us. “Staycations,” in my opinion however, are instances when one consciously decides to take time off with the intention of re-energizing at home. It’s been a while since I’ve taken a “staycation,” but I’m so glad I decided to take one this weekend.

Well into my first day of being at home (wandering not beyond my neighborhood), I have already noticed significant changes within me. For one, I woke up happy today. I may not have slept in per se, but I was up with the sun, dressed in shorts and tee-shirt, excited about the freedom that lay ahead of me. I cannot tell you what a feeling it is to wake up on a weekday feeling legitimately happy. Not content, not “okay,” not fine, but honest-to-God happy. It was a fantastic feeling!

Secondly, the happiness and relaxation that I felt immediately upon rising today has translated into so many other things, creativity being one of them. One of my biggest frustrations in life is that I don’t have the time and energy to be as creative as I would like to be. From time to time I’ll find the energy and free time to work on my crafts, whether it is jewelry or stationary making, but honestly those moments are too far and few between. I often feel my precious free time must be spent doing other things like cleaning, laundry, or exercising (blah). Sadly to say, sometimes I even find myself working (although not by choice). So to wake up today with absolutely no obligations—it was a wonderful and foreign feeling to me, and it resulted in a renewed sense of inspiration and a really cool art project that I will blog about later.

Thirdly, this first day of my staycation has given me a chance to be introspective. I have had the silence and privacy to really examine what in my life makes me so unhappy 70% of the week. I’ve known all along what those factors are but to have the time and silence to think about it without being interrupted or rushed, and to have the opportunity to really focus on the issue rather than combat a constantly wandering mind full of anxieties and stress—it has been a real treat to have this time of solitude as it has given me a chance to start thinking about an action plan toward the kind of life I want to live rather than the one I’m currently stuck in.

Yes, there are some very real roadblocks standing between me and my dreams, but suddenly it doesn’t seem too impossible to get there. I definitely wouldn’t have this new found sense of calmness and optimism if it weren’t for this “staycation.”

I am fortunate. It is Friday afternoon, and I still have three more days of freedom and privacy to create and contemplate. And the timing is good because come Tuesday it will be an especially intense professional and social week full of obligations, meetings, networking, and deadlines. Both me and my checking account will be exhausted come this time next week, but it all has to get done…thankfully just not today.

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