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It’s no surprise to my family how difficult it is for me to take time off. And then there’s the insane process of ‘preparing’ to take time off…what I call “working at pre-vacation speed.” I don’t like catching up; I’d rather be proactive and do as much ahead of time so my return from holiday is at a relatively normal pace (whatever normal is at the time). Thus, by the time vacation comes, I’m truly ready!

My psyche gets a little confused over the whole stay-cation concept though. The idea of staying at home and not really doing anything is so foreign an idea that I’ve had to make some adjustments to the term. I can do day-trips, and then stay here at night, using my home like I would a hotel. I would need to leave very early in the day with a destination planned to encourage my departure. Otherwise, I know what I’ll do…start puttering around, picking up things, fixing projects, sitting down at my computer, etc. Before long, the day is over and I’ve not really experienced the activity I had intended. You can see my dilemma. Obviously the work-aholic issue is alive and present.

With regard to making plans, one tip I received long ago has come in handy in many situations. Make your first activity (Plan A) something you want to do, something you would enjoy and that feels like a worthwhile endeavor. Then also formulate a “Plan B” – an activity of equal or greater interest such that if “Plan A” didn’t work out, you wouldn’t feel at all disappointed. In fact, you might even secretly prefer that “Plan A” failed so you COULD do “Plan B.”

It’s a bit of an insane idea, psyching yourself out of wanting to do the first thing so you can do the second and have more fun, yet still feeling good about failing at the first option not working out to be able to enjoy the second. Make sense? For example, if…

  • “Plan A” is to secretly hide away at home for three days with my husband so we can re­organize my office and finally get it functional and beautiful so I’m happy to be there every day, maybe get done quickly enough that we could do one or two of the things below
  • …or…
  • “Plan B” is (forget the office) just go off on daytrips with my husband, seeing local sights we’ve talked about, doing short hikes and café lunches, visiting places where we’d like to do dedicated retreats, watching a movie during the day or reading a book in the sunshine at a park

…I have some inner conflict between these two options. Each one would be fun for me! Each option leaves me satisfied. But this stay-cation isn’t about just me. The above plans have been discussed with my husband and somewhat laid out. I’m willing to turn over this challenging decision to him and go with the flow, knowing either option will bring happiness to my life. Who would have thought it would be so complicated to want to get away from work?

Won’t it be interesting to see how it all turns out?

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