My Staycation

Today I return to work after my longest vacation in more than a decade. Usually, I use a day or two of vacation time around weekends and holidays to keep my work from piling up overmuch while I’m away. This year, that just wasn’t possible.

For sixteen glorious days, I didn’t think about work. I did check email and  voicemail occasionally, but received very few messages. The weeks around Independence Day are a good time to take off because things slow to a crawl.

What did I do?

Exercised. I worked out at my new gym almost every day. The 24/7 access makes a difference. The one time I did run, I was able to workout first — the tendinitis in my foot returned after I overdid it. Message received.

Got a tan. Between running and driving with the top down on my convertible, I tend to stay tan. Returning from vacation without a tan is against my religion.  Thirty or forty minutes in the sun every day or two gets me tan without burning.

Napped. Work or not, I’m up every morning by 5:30. I can’t relax with a a bunch of stuff hanging over my head. I get chores and other must-dos out of the way early so I can do what I want for the rest of the day free of guilt.

Started my next novel. The fourth Philip Potter story picks up where Happy Independence Day left off. Weaving three character arcs together makes this my most ambitious project yet. Details to follow in a later post.

Cooked. Every day — sometimes twice. I didn’t eat out or get delivery even once my entire vacation. Eating healthier is easier when I prepare the food. My cooking would never win any prizes, but is good enough to keep me off Worst Cooks in America.

Got a pedicure. Thought about it Saturday, but knew the salon would be packed. Monday I got right in, and was surprised to see two other men getting their feet done — both older than me. I thought French tips would look good on my tan toes, but nobody asked.

I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation and hated to see it end. Sometime in the next 36 to 60 months, I’ll retire from the day job. Now I have a better idea of what being on vacation all the time looks like.