The Staycation

I admittedly have a self-induced obsession with not disconnecting from work. Totally my issue – I own it, I live it. I’m on day two of a staycation – you know, one where you hang around the house, do local activities with the family – basically have access to your cell, computer, iPhone. Um, yes, you have a choice in that matter. If you think you don’t, well, you need to take a good hard look.

That said, day two was wonderful. Yes, I checked my e-mails a few times. Heck, I even called my boss. But all that aside, I disconnected for a large part of the day. You see, disconnecting isn’t necessarily about turning the technology off and ignoring it. It’s about finding time and mind space to enjoy all that life has to offer (that isn’t work-related). Really enjoy it.

I found that time this evening. Admittedly, my day was spent with tactical plans, business needs, and new staff training needs churning in the back of my head while I watched my kids spin rides at the amusement park. We got home and spent a few minutes of “downtime” together and then decided to turn “downtime” into “quality time”.

At the advice of my husband, we lit a fire in our firepit. We broke out the campfire grates, the hot dogs, hamburgers, and kielbasa, added some chips and baked beans, and headed outside for some fun.

That’s when it happened. I disconnected from work and found some space. Some space to watch my kids follow each other through the woods – barefoot and happy. To revel in the fact that Morgan will pretty much follow Jake to the ends of the earth, as she copied his every move – whether it was hitting a stick against a tree, or throwing a tennis ball up the slide. To giggle at the black bottoms of their feet as they lifted them to the skies in an attempt to get their swings to go higher and higer. To observe my kids carefree and happy as they ran from their playhouse to the picnic table where I was sitting to offer me “chicken nuggets and french fries” they’d pretended to cook. To laugh at the fact that ketchup makes everything better – as demonstrated by my little girl dipping her Fritos in ketchup. To see my little boy, as grown up as a four year old could possibly be, laugh as his sister asked the trees if they “wanted some” as she carried around a bag of marshmallows and attempted to entertain us all. To eat “campfire hangburgers” (a Morganism) with them, relishing every last bite.

We let the kids stay up late – way late – and if you know me as a mom, you know that bedtimes and naptimes are the only thing I’m “strict” about (and by the way, I know I’m fooling myself when I say that’s why my kids are such good sleepers. In actuality, they are just good sleepers by nature). We cooked them a second meal. We watched a movie. We played with sparklers. We enjoyed one another.

It was a glorious few hours that melted away any thoughts or concerns I had about work. The result? A restored, re-energized mama. A working mom who has finally realized, it’s not about the time you are devoting to work vs. home, it’s about the quality of the time you are devoting to one or the other.

And so with great sadness, we begin our last day of the staycation tomorrow. But I’m already thinking forward to our next day off. After all, it’s not about the amount of time, but the quality of time…

I admittedly have a self-induced obsession with not disconnecting from work. Totally my issue – I own it, I live it. I’m on day two of a staycation – you know, one where you hang around the house, do local activities with the family – basically have access to your cell, computer, iPhone. Um, yes, you have a choice in that matter. Should you chose to believe you don’t, well, you need to take a good hard look.

That said, day two was wonderful. Yes, I checked my e-mails a few times. Heck, I even called my boss. But all that aside, I disconnected for a large part of the day. You see, disconnecting isn’t necessarily about turning the technology off and ignoring it. It’s about finding time and mind space to enjoy all that life has to offer (that isn’t work-related). Really enjoy it.

I found that time this evening. Admittedly, my day was spent with tactical plans, business needs, and new staff training needs churning in the back of my head while I watched my kids spin rides at the amusement park. We got home and spent a few minutes of “downtime” together and then decided to turn “downtime” into “quality time”.

At the advice of my husband, we lit a fire in our firepit. We broke out the campfire grates, the hot dogs, hamburgers, and kielbasa, added some chips and baked beans, and headed outside for some fun.

That’s when it happened. I disconnected from work and found some space. Some space to watch my kids follow each other through the woods – barefoot and happy. To revel in the fact that Morgan will pretty much follow Jake to the ends of the earth, as she copied his every move – whether it was hitting a stick against a tree, or throwing a tennis ball up the slide. To giggle at the black bottoms of their feet as they lifted them to the skies in an attempt to get their swings to go higher and higer. To observe my kids carefree and happy as they ran from their playhouse to the picnic table where I was sitting to offer me “chicken nuggets and french fries” they’d pretended to cook. To laugh at the fact that ketchup makes everything better – as demonstrated by my little girl dipping her Fritos in ketchup. To see my little boy, as grown up as a four year old could possibly be, laugh as his sister asked the trees if they “wanted some” as she carried around a bag of marshmallows and attempted to entertain us all. To eat “campfire hangburgers” (a Morganism) with them, relishing every last bite.

We let the kids stay up late – way late – and if you know me as a mom, you know that bedtimes and naptimes are the only thing I’m “strict” about (and by the way, I know I’m fooling myself when I say that’s why my kids are such good sleepers. In actuality, they are just good sleepers by nature). We cooked them a second meal. We watched a movie. We played with sparklers. We enjoyed one another.

It was a glorious few hours that melted away any thoughts or concerns I had about work. The result? A restored, re-energized mama. A working mom who has finally realized, it’s not about the time you are devoting to work vs. home, it’s about the quality of the time you are devoting to one or the other.

And so with great sadness, we begin our last day of the staycation tomorrow. But I’m already thinking forward to our next day off. After all, it’s not about the amount of time, but the quality of time…

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