My niece (who is 8, born the summer I started this blog) is spending the night tonight and going to a family yoga class with me in the morning. Stubb and the Snork Maiden are away. Niece is asleep and I’m scrolling through Facebook and seeing, among the political posts and the funny ones, quite a few pictures of people’s late-summer vacations and last-chance weekends away. I’m finding myself suddenly sharply envious of the ones who are spending a week settled down somewhere with relatively little to do–a cabin in the woods, a condo at the beach, even an over-the-top luxury resort (there are two in my feed right now–one in Hawaii and one somewhere in southern California).
And, embarrassingly but undeniably, I’m feeling petulant about not going anywhere for something vacationlike this summer. I was away for my usual conference, and there are many pleasures associated with that, but unscheduled downtime is not one of them. I had planned a trip in July to stay in a rustic little AirBnB cabin for almost a week, having solo time to write but also visiting with a friend teaching at a nearby low-residency and another friend in a city two hours away. But I ended up cancelling it because of issues with my mom’s and Stubb’s dad’s health. That was the right decision, but because of the way I’d planned the summer, there wasn’t another chunk of time to devote to something similar–and the residency week was over, so it would have had to have been somewhere else. (I also lost the AirBnB money–the place had a fairly strict cancellation policy, which makes me a little more wary of AirBnB in the future. Got the plane fare back, though, because I bought trip insurance, which I rarely do.) Also, I’m not sure even now that I’d feel really okay about going anywhere, since Stubb is away for work, and while my mom is fine now, his parents are still having a somewhat rocky time.
I really am excited about going back to school, but at the same time, I really wish I had had a bona fide vacation trip. (I have also recently read several articles about the importance of taking vacations and recharging in general. Maybe I should just get off the New York Times and Facebook.) I just spent a little time looking at the possibility of a weekend away, either right before school starts, or on one of the first weekends of September. I remember enjoying a quick getaway with the Snork Maiden in 2009 and feeling refreshed by it even though it was quite short.
I feel a little sheepish complaining about this–I know I get more trips than a lot of people–but what is this blog space for, if I can’t complain about stuff that bugs me? Also, the subject of how to take care of myself is not a trivial one. I work hard and I show up for other people–Stubb, the Snork Maiden, relatives and friends–when they need me.
There have been good parts to this summer: lots of reading. A decent amount of writing–and a very supportive and enthusiastic response from my writing group to the section I gave them in July. Leisurely time with friends. Even some nice close moments during the various health crises–it’s good to be able to be there for people when they need you. Some lovely Snork Maiden time (not much with Stubb, though–he’s been away a lot). Continuing to develop a yoga practice. So I know I’ve benefitted from the time away from school and will come back at least somewhat restored. Planning a little break will probably give me an additional boost–and in the meantime, staying off Facebook is not a bad idea.