I am almost certain that I have mentioned somewhere in earlier posts our family's failure to plan vacation this year. Prior to becoming parents, we did not take frequent vacations, but we did manage to get out of the country to do something interesting once every few years or so. Since becoming parents, we have utterly failed to get away from life, with or without the now-toddler.
After surviving the purchase of our first house, new parenthood, job changes, the sale of the first house and purchase of the second in another state, the cross-country move, and the acclimation of said child into three different daycares throughout that process, we are experiencing a (likely brief) lull in drama. We navigated our first northern winter in four years and it wasn't so bad, so around January or so, I felt that I could power through the rest of winter and be fine without getting away. I was wrong, and by the end of February, I was stir-crazy and in serious need of a change in the routine.
We could not make a getaway work at that point, but in its place, my husband gave me the gift of a staycation. For four or five days, in late winter, I slept in the guest bedroom and was excused from household duties and childcare responsibilities. I was off the hook for mornings and meal duty, and I was able to sew or blog over morning coffee and to merely enjoy my husband and son over meals and during play times. It might sound wacky, but it was effective. I emerged refreshed in time for my husband's departure back to work.
We still have not gone on vacation, but we did execute another version of staycation this June. Instead of the usual hustle to complete projects, catch up on everything, and generally be productive, we took more time than usual to relax and to play. During his first ten days home from work, we focused on date days; going out for lunches or breakfast and checking out other points of interest around the Twin Cities.
As a result of those activities, household responsibilities, and a general effort to slow down and enjoy summer in Minnesota, lab productivity has been less tangible of late. Some projects are simmering, but none that are ready wide release. I relaxed some personal deadlines and am happily embracing summer. I can report that the staycation has once more been good value, offering significant bang for our vacation buck. I'm refreshed and ready to get back to work, even a little bit twitchy and impatient.
Long live the staycation.