What I Did on My Vacation

April 05, 2013

Too much.

My spring break wasn’t really a vacation—my son had already had his school break and we didn’t go anywhere, but I recognized that I needed a break from blogging and took one. I didn’t try to fill the days—in fact, I tried to empty them! But life, as usual, got in the way. While I was “taking a break,” Scout had some problems and had to go to the vet (she’s feeling better now) and we helped my son complete a community service project which involved making 1000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to be distributed to the hungry and homeless. This is what 1000 sandwiches looks like:

I did manage to do a little extra reading (Mr. Skeffington, The Olive Grove),   ride Tank several times and make a new vision board (better late than never). And—ta da—I finished painting my sketches from Sunken Gardens

The original sketch:

Have you noticed that when you cut back on doing one thing, something else leaps forward to take its place? The time I spend writing posts and visiting other people’s blogs was easily consumed by other tasks, and by the end of the week, I didn’t really feel like I’d had a break. I extended the break into the first part of this week, and what do you know? I spent hours on Monday doing errands. Clearly, I need to work on the concept of taking a break.

This non-break taught me something about myself that I already sort of knew: I feel guilty if I’m not constantly working to contribute in some way. Since I don’t have a paying job, I drive myself to work for the family nearly constantly. I have a terribly hard time allowing myself the time I need for study, thought and yes, doing nothing, in service of feeding my creativity and my ultimate writing goals which I am ashamed to say have almost completely fallen into obscurity. I feel bad about this, and instead of rerouting my energies to fix it, I go for the more obvious (and endless) to-do list where I can mark off things achieved and actually see a result—a bathroom cleaned, groceries in the fridge, etc. I’m having a hard time letting go of tangible results for intangible ones.

I’ve written about this before, and as you can see I haven’t come up with a solution yet. I’m not giving up, though—I will figure this out! In the meantime, I’ll try to cut myself some slack, to do a little bit less in order to do more, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll plan a vacation that really will be a vacation!

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  1. I love your paintings! Those sandwiches were tangible, lol. I miss all my free time now that I am working. We had a busy weekend of helping my move with moving and I don't even know where to begin.

    Just keep on going with the flow and enjoying your life!

  2. Thanks, Kathy. Thanks for taking the time to stop by in the midst of your new busy-ness! Hope the job is still going well.

  3. Funny to stumble across this blog post tonight -- when I'm so exhausted, eyes watering (maybe from a spring allergy) ... I had most of last week 'off' on vacation while my oldest son visited, but rather than be rested this week, I'm dragging.... going through the motions and trying to knock off some things on my "to-do" list. It is hard to break habits!

  4. Claire--Do you now need a vacation from your vacation? Hope you perk up soon, and that you enjoyed your time with your son.