The Art of Stay-cationing

My wife and I are on vacation this week. We aren’t camping, or traveling, or anything like that. We are, in fact, staying home. In common parlance, we are having a “stay-cation”.

There is an art to the stay-cation. The art is in the balance. If you work the entire time, you do not feel like you are on vacation at all. If you try to spend all of your time outside of the home, you might as well have gone on an actual vacation. And if you fill every day with day trips, you will run out of resources quicker than you can say “I just spent too much at the zoo!”

Thankfully, my wife and I are great balances for each other. We began the week by writing a list. Okay, to be honest, my wife started the list, because that’s the type of person that she is. She filled the list with all of the projects around the house that we have been putting off for lack of time. She wrote down things like scrubbing the floorboards and power mopping the hardwood, renting a carpet cleaner and fixing our bathroom sink drain, and so on. Good things all, but fun? Not so much.

grand_rapids_childrens_museumBut that’s okay, because we have fun planned in as well. We are going to story time at the library, taking the girls to the carousel at the mall, visiting the children’s museum downtown, and celebrating eight years of marriage with dinner and a movie (in an actual theater!).

The to-do list is a balanced approach of the things that need to be done with the things we want to do, and the really beautiful thing is that no matter what category (fun vs. work) an activity falls into, we will be happier once that activity is completed.

Sometimes, I have trouble seeing the happy part of doing back-breaking labor. That’s when I am happiest that my wife sees it there for me. And sometimes, my wife has trouble seeing an activity as worth the money it costs to do, which is where I step in and encourage us to do it anyway.

Yes, the stay-cation is an art, but once learned, can be applied to all areas of life. Even after you return to work.

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