When a Day Off Isn’t

god-creatorI’m halfway through the two-day vacation I offered to myself and all I can say is I have managed it very poorly.

But cheer up!  There’s a lesson to be learned here.  That lesson?  Keep the plan simple and stick to it.  And above all else, stay away from things that don’t square with a vacation…work, for example.  And an overabundance of chores.

But then there’s another lesson to be learned if you don’t follow the simple-plan-and-stick-to-it advice.  If you do stray, pay attention to what happens, especially what happens in your gut.  Lessons to be learned here, indeed.

In my case, I thought I would do some simple housekeeping tasks related to my work.  Check email, maybe make a quick call to a client…that sort of thing.

But the moment I logged on my office computer and saw the familiar software errors and login fails that turn even my best days into a slog, I felt my gut fall and my day get heavy.  It sucks…and deciding exactly what “it” is that sucks, that’s the key.  Pay attention to that.  It is telling.

Even getting a call from a co-worker — also a friend — didn’t feel right.  The call went unanswered and straight to voicemail, which I won’t listen to yet.  I don’t want to hear about “it”.

Today simply touching work turned my day off into one that isn’t.  If it isn’t obvious, let me tell you, expecting a leisurely stroll through the Rolodex is a fool’s folly…if the work tied to it is a chore.

how-to-write-ebookSo I thought I would go to Plan B, which is housekeeping of a different sort.  It is a decluttering and cleaning project that is…well…proceeding in a very interesting manner.

I have boxes and piles of things I have pulled out of hiding to sort into neat categories of save or discard.  But the boxes and papers don’t want to fall neatly into categories of save or discard, they have instead migrated into an even more random mix of boxes and piles I’ll call collectively Sort Again Later.

(I’ve solved that problem, at least temporarily, by stacking it all up against a wall and throwing a blanket of it.  Best left until a day that is not a day off, I think.)

More household chores, but the washing machine went out of balance.  (What’s the point of laundry on a holiday?)  And why can’t I meet someone who enjoys washing sliver ware?  (There’s silverware in the sink if you’re interested.)  Or…bingo!…a good home duster? Are you out there?  But household chores on a day off?  Maybe a good idea and probably not, and most definitely not when you have sacrificed better ideas for them.

Look, maybe I’m just tired.  Maybe I am just really tired.  Maybe I REALLY do need a day off, perhaps permanently.  A change.  Something different, something right.  If you don’t love it, why do it?  That’s what they say.  A day off shouldn’t be an escape and a refuge.  It should be an opportunity for more.

So I am looking at the books I set aside to read today and the notes for writing I meant to do…and today’s false start sucked it all out of me.  The plan is lost. 

In the end, when a day off becomes a frustration, it might be something that it is not.  And that feeling is best not ignored.

I’ll go run an errand or two instead.  Certainly cannot hurt to get out of the house…clear the head.

And I don’t mean to sound pathetically dismal, because I’m not.  I’m already feeling kind of good again.  (Thank you.)

The day is young, the year old.  There’s enormous promise in that.


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