Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Staycation Report: 3 Things I Learned

1. Planning is Key. Spontaneity is the spice of life... in an ideal world. When you take a vacation, there's a lot of prep involved- packing, stopping the mail, taking out the trash, yada yada yada. In some ways, it's no different when you go on a staycation, even if it's only for the weekend.

Meal planning allowed us to stock the fridge and steer clear of last minute trips to the supermarket for one last thing (I'm famous for that!). Rachel Ray's "Make Your Own Burrito Bar" recipe was a big hit. Yes . . .we ate out too ( dishes), and left room for spontaneity; my sweet tooth couldn't resist stopping at Ben & Jerry's for some mint chocolate chunk ice cream. Twice. But the second time- totally planned.

Often, the weather dictates how you'll spend the day, take it or leave it. Thursday turned out to be a beautiful afternoon, one Tim fondly referred to as a Ferris Bueller day. After visiting the Children's Museum of Manhattan, we strolled through Central Park and people-watched over a packed lunch. Plan B involved sleeping bags, popcorn, and Mary Poppins. While that would have been fine, nothing compares to breathing in some fresh, spring air!

2. Get Unplugged! We live in a fast-paced, impatient, dot-mom world. Phone calls, text messages, emails, downloads. They're all nice, in moderation. The problem is that we don't moderate. I wanted to eliminate these distractions and be more attentive to what matters most in my life . . .spending time with the people I love. Besides, someday I'll never wish that I'd spent more time on my computer. Eat more ice cream? Maybe. (Hence the two trips to Ben & Jerry's.)

I did tell friends and family about our staycation, just as I would if we were vacationing. Yes, in case of an emergency, I could still be reached via cell phone. Yes, people still called. No, it wasn't an emergency. At one point, we did check messages. Big mistake. The bottom line: it's uncomfortable being disconnected, especially when you're lying on your own couch. I think it actually takes practice, something I'm more than willing to work on. You know, the "stuff" was all still here when I got back. I didn't miss much, if anything at all.

3. Make it a Habit of Smelling the Roses. For me, the whole point of a staycation is to practice slowing down and to live well (which doesn't require $$$) right in your own backyard. Every now and then, I think it's important to break up the monotony and do something fun or different, inspiring or creative, whatever that means for you. My husband felt that this was definitely easier to do once we hopped in the car, destination bound. It was much more challenging to ignore the to-do list at home and to relax, or god-forbid, do nothing. We're so accomplish-oriented; it's a tough habit to break.

Every adult speaks of how quickly children grow, and heck, I'm not about to miss these awesome years. My personality necessitates that I have to consciously put on blinders, carve out time, and create a space that offers enrichment of the soul. The flowers are on the table. At least that's a start.


DinnerWithLove said...

I've got a serious hankering for some mint chip icecream now... is 9:15am too early???

Vikki said...

I have been eating Cincy's Graeter's mint chocolate chip--no matter what type of vacation there are always calories involved!!

mamarissa said...

You are such a great mom! The last paragraph is so true! Put a smile on my face.

Michelle said...

If I lived in NYC I think I would take a staycation all the time! I unfortunately live in SETX and as I refer to it " The armpit of Tx" we have to travel to Houston to find many things and everyone always wants to take a vacation to go somewhere else! Found you today on MomBloggersclub... will definitely be back!!