I took the week of Thanksgiving off work. After working too many hours for the past several months, I needed some time off to reset and rest.
And suddenly, it is Sunday. What!?
As many can relate, it seems like only a short time has passed. How the heck is it Sunday again? What have I spent my time doing?
I took a moment to review:
Saturday and Sunday – family visiting + rest
Monday – epic adventure to New Hampshire to acquire a kiln.
Tuesday and Wednesday – rest and recover. Hire someone to unload the kiln from my car. Play with my new kiln accessories for an hour or so.
Thursday – Thanksgiving. Huge amounts of food and great guests.
Friday and Saturday – Spontaneous adventure to Canada! Mild, minor, and controlled so I can handle it after the exhaustion of Thursday, but an adventure none-the-less. In short, Mary drove us two hours to reach a hotel. She and I both staying in that hotel overnight. Then, we left it around noon the next day and she drove us home. Barely notable pre-injury. Post injury, an event to celebrate.
To be fair, the hotel – Les Trois Tilleuls – was fabulous. Absolutely great. Mary and I spent our 24 hours of respite soaking in the in-room jacuzzi
Then swimming in a salted – instead of chlorinated – pool
Then having fun in the sauna
Then back to the pool.
Then back to the sauna, then back to the tub, and finally we made it – late at night – to try out the amazing shower
I’ve never experienced a shower that was other than… well… a regular shower. This one had four different ways to experience bathing. First, there is the classic showerhead. Yay – hot water that has a consistent temperature and doesn’t run out. I’d have been happy with just that. But then there is a rain showerhead – which basically feels like being drenched in the pouring rain. Extremely wonderful when the water is steaming hot. Then, in case that wasn’t enough, there is a line of jets that will shoot water at you sideways hard enough to give a pleasant massage. Last, there is seat in the shower – in case all of this luxury was just too much – and it has its own set of jets to take care of aching muscles.
Okay, the spa side of things was great. But, what about the food? Mary and I seem to find places that offer mediocre food at top shelf prices. Over and over again. Quite a recipe for disappointment. Now, our streak of ill luck has finally broken, and we have a new place that is expensive but extremely tasty too!
We didn’t want to interact with other humans, so we ordered room service.
Everything was wonderful except the quail eggs in vinegar.
They didn’t taste horrible, but something about them being little quail eggs grossed me out so Mary had to eat most of these alone. We also had a bison burger that was simply inspired and Mary’s glass of wine was good too.
An amazing meal, and an amazing adventure. I even managed to drive 30 minutes or so on the way home.
Now suddenly it is Sunday. What!?
I spent the morning at the clay studio, and this afternoon doing a list of tasks to prepare for the week. It is always much more pleasant to start a busy week with all the laundry folded, dishes washed, bills paid, and cat boxes scooped. Everything feels much saner. I do not regret the last several hours of tasks. Alas, they simply brings us closer to Monday.
As my week of vacation draws to a close, what have I gained?
Three adventures. A great container of leftover turkey. Days of rest. And something more important, something subtle that I have trouble naming. Something vital. Completeness? Wholeness? I’m not sure. As the days progressed, I felt layer after layer of myself reactivate – my deeper judgment, nuanced beliefs, knowledge that I have choices in my life, the ability to manage my budget, energy to think thoughts, space to observe and consider who I want to be in the world.
In the past, I carried all of these parts of myself on a daily basis, accessible as I needed or wanted them. Now, these parts of myself are only accessible with planning, with rest and space. I can’t call a particular skill towards me whenever I need it. I have often reached for something, mentally, and come up empty. More often, I forget the existence of this or that perspective – like knowing I have a choice in how I react to things – when there is no energy for it.
The past week has felt great. Not only have I accomplished tasks on my own, I have felt whole. The specific knowledge that comes and goes, such as the nuances of my beliefs, have appeared and disappeared often enough that I no longer fear that they are lost. It is simply, regrettably, that I do not have the time or energy to hold all of these parts of me present while working 32 hours a week. My brain does not have enough extra energy to maintain all aspects of myself while still meeting my basic needs and accomplishing my paid productivity.
I know it will not always be this way. It has been pleasing, and an honor, to create space for more of myself in my life – even if it is only for a brief period of time. I know, some day, these parts of myself will again be integrated into my daily existence.