A “home vacation”? Last week I challenged you to consider an affordable vacation, when a “real” vacation seemed out of reach. We looked at how daily demands of caregiving, family, working outside the home, time, and resources left little time for our own basic needs.
You were asked to identify your greatest need of a vacation.
I trust you discovered for yourself what things tug heavily on your heart. Today, I will tell you what was on my list and how I handled my vacation. Next week I will give you specifics so you can do the same. And YES, you can no matter what your circumstance.
The cost and very surprising big rewards of my vacation.
The cost spent on travel, extra food, and entertainment was zero. The rewards are still coming in. I am calmer, happier, more enthusiastic than I have been in years. My house feels, smells and looks clean, yet much more needs done. My work and writing is on schedule and on target. Big bonus: I tried some new recipes and even lost a couple of pounds. Yes!
When you are tired, everything seems larger than life.
A month ago, when I sat down to rest at days’ end, “little” things loomed over me. There was an endless list of unfinished work. Doing fun projects was out of the question. I began by listing things that bugged me. My list will not seem like such a big deal to you. It was to me: it hindered my work and eventually affected my attitude. Your list will be different as you reflect on your life and your personal needs.
Here is a portion of my list:
Seeing the same photos/wall hangings year after year (adding to-never taking down); Dark smoky streaks on the fireplace brick (most likely not noticed by others); Stacks (boxes) of good magazines and newspapers unread; Craft and coloring books purchased last year; still not opened; Growing list of cards I wanted and needed to send; important calls I should make; Patio chairs needing a little paint and cushion covers; Cobwebs hanging from the ceilings (spray glitter?); Baby kittens starving for attention; Roses and flowers needing weeded; beautiful bouquets that never got picked!
When my “vacation” began, I chose a short-term project first.
I began with the fireplace because its grubby face greeted me every morning. No one seemed to know how to clean the brick as it got darker each year. Bravely I grabbed a bottle of Dawn, stiff brush, roll of paper towels, and went to work, even cleaning the hearth. Beautiful! Now, if that doesn’t sound like vacation to you, wait until you scratch your itch! That one small accomplishment gave me the will to continue.
My second project took several days (working a little each day as time allowed).
I tackled the photos and pictures. I pulled them all from walls and shelves throughout the house; emptied the frames and stacked the photos. Next I chose only the pics that I personally wanted to showcase. I dug out my photo albums, favorite Scripture clippings and new collage frames I had purchased years ago. One wall has three pages from our wedding and first year as a family. Now, when I am overwhelmed with life, I can refresh at my photo galleries in each room and remember the goodness of God.
I visited old friends and made new ones.
I scheduled some of vacation time to visit far-away friends – pen in hand. I eagerly worked through my long list of people I needed to visit and encourage with a letter or card. It was uplifting to finally call or write so many of them each week!
I tried new recipes and spiced up old ones. I swept down the cobwebs, dusted the furniture, shook the rugs. It was fun! And so rewarding.
If this doesn’t sound like vacation to you, it’s been too long since you’ve experienced the pure joy of a job well done!
Next week, as I promised, I will give you the simple plan for your vacation. In the meantime, get to work on that list. Make it as long and detailed as you wish; there is some healing in simply writing down your wants and to-do list. Trust me on this because I was there!
Please comment; let me hear about the things you would like to do if you had the time. Praying for you as we journey together.