Long weekends? We don’t pack our bags and travel, or kick our feet up and chill out at our (non-existent) cottage. We work. House-work, life-work, all the projects where investing hours of concentrated time pays.
On Monday, we played a real-life puzzle game in our living room, moving tables and boxes around until we could reorganize everything the way we wanted it. Moved the bicycles to the deck, followed by the woodworking tools and materials. With the floor-space cleared (at least a little), disassembled the table and rolled it out to the porch for donation. Moved the bric-a-brac hiding behind the table to their rightful places, then moved the piano into the space formerly occupied by the table. Moved the coffee table aside. Moved the couch to the space occupied by the piano. With access to the shelves, moved all the books off the back bookshelf, then moved the bookcase to the opposite wall. Moved the bicycles into the space formerly occupied by the bookcase. Moved the books back onto the bookcase, setting aside many books for donation. Moved books from the second bookcase onto the first bookcase and the third bookcase, again setting aside more books. Moved the now-empty second bookcase beside the first bookcase. Moved the third bookcase’s books to the second bookcase, again setting aside books for donation. Moved the third bookcase into the kitchen. Moved the canned goods, baking supplies, and other shelf-stable ingredients from the basement to the bookcase-turned-pantry.
It felt awesome.
On Tuesday, we worked on our Adirondack chairs. I disassembled my chair and sanded the parts to prepare it for painting, while W- and J- worked on J-‘s chair. They were quite a while from painting, so I scanned my sketchbook and tweaked my digital filing system in order to be able to review my drawings more easily.
Our two-week vacation last year? Cooking, canning, sewing, gardening, biking, writing.
After something like that, work feels like an equal pleasure—perhaps even a relaxing treat. It’s not the sharp contrast between idyllic perfection and the cubicle grind, or exotic thrills and mundane routines.
And relaxation? A good day’s work, a good meal’s satisfaction, a good night’s sleep. Self-control to let neither work nor hobbies overrun each other. Love and laughter sprinkled throughout the day.
Why do I write this?
To share that it’s okay if your idea of a great vacation doesn’t involve vacating.
That life doesn’t have to be predicated on a dread of Mondays and a desire for escape.
That house-work and life-work done with intention and love can be fulfilling.