The end of the year means some vacation time for me. We never actually go anywhere because my husband is a UPS guy and he’s not able to get time off in December, for painfully obvious reasons. But, it’s the quietest time of year at my job, and it’s when I can take a bit of a break.
So, no traveling, which is fine by me. I use this time to try to strike a balance between relaxing and doing purely fun stuff and Getting Stuff Done.
It’ll come as no surprise to you Penelopes that I find it impossible to spend entire days, or, even afternoons, doing nothing. I just can’t do it. I feel like such a failure if I do, like I’m wasting precious time that I could be “Being Productive.” It’s a personality flaw I seem powerless to change.
And yet, if I spend my whole vacation effectively working, then I get cranky at the end of it, like I was cheated out of the only real time off I take all year.
I’m a little hard to please, do you see? I can’t even please myself, for heaven’s sake.
So, I’ve struck a deal with my inner Penelope and developed a vacation system that works for me:
Several days before my vacation starts, I make a list of all the tasks I need to accomplish around the house. Some organizing tasks (tackle that linen closet again) some end of year tasks (file 2010 bills and documents) and some cleaning tasks (clean the oven, the refrigerator, the tops of my spice jars. Do not laugh. Wait, what am I saying? You’re not laughing, you’re nodding.)
Then, each day, I make a To Do List/Schedule, trying to balance the productive tasks with the fun stuff.
Here’s what mine looks like for today:
9am clean fridge
10am return library books/go to Walgreens
11am early lunch, watch last week’s Top Chef
1pm go through 2 shelves of linen closet, delete unused items
2pm wrap Christmas gifts
3pm have a chai latte and some time with my new book, Kate Morton’s “The Distant Hours”
5pm start dinner, do evening chores
See? A nice, balanced day. I’ve built in enough time for relaxing and enough “work” to make me feel like I deserve it.
And that, my friends is how this Penelope takes vacation.
What about you? Can you just veg out all day? If so, tell me how. I need advice!