The Great Staycation

It’s a mini fall break this weekend for Indigenous Peoples Day here in Maine, meaning the kids have today off, and all of us have Monday off. We’ve often gone away this weekend, checking out other parts of the state and staying at a VRBO or something. We’d hoped to do the same thing this year, but several things came up to make that more difficult. Obviously there’s the pandemic still, which meant that wherever we ended up, we’d have to tweak what we were doing. There’s also Ferris, who is fairly housebroken by now, but we realize there’s a big gap between “fairly housebroken” and “housebroken.” He also sometimes doesn’t sleep through the night, and the thought of sharing a room with him left me . . . reluctant to pay for the experience.

So I proposed that we just stay home and treat it like a staycation instead. Denisa was less than enthused, pointing out that every time we’ve done that, it turns into just another weekend, instead of feeling like an actual vacation. So I put on my thinking cap and tried to come up with a way to make the weekend feel different. Special. Cool.

My answer? A set of basic rules we’d follow to make the weekend feel different.

  1. No individual electronic devices. Shared movies would be okay, and even video game systems, but iPads, phones, laptops, and the like? Nope nope nope.
  2. No work or homework.
  3. No chores

What would we do to replace all those things? We’d have a pretty much unlimited budget, for one thing. After all, we’d be saving hundreds of dollars at least by not renting a house for the weekend. Probably more like $800 once all was said and done. That’s a lot of dollars. So we could eat out wherever we wanted. Buy whatever treats at the grocery store we felt like getting. Go on a shopping spree. Whatever. We would also treat the time at home like a vacation. Go on some outings. Explore. Spend time together.

I presented this to the family, and there were generally positive responses. There were some hangups around that “no personal electronics” area, and Denisa was also worried about the “no work” rule, since she didn’t want to fall behind. I was pretty adamant about the electronics, but I did say to Denisa that of course if she had to do something, she had to do it, but that I thought the weekend would feel more relaxing if we really stuck to those rules as much as possible.

In the end, it was agreed.

Honestly, as I’m facing going home and giving up my phone and laptop, I’m feeling . . . anxious. Like I’m going to miss out on important things that are happening. Which is ridiculous, and makes the stubborn part of me that much more set on following through with this. I don’t like being dependent on things, and the fact that I’m this attached to electronics says to me that I need to do more of this in the future, so that I can kick that habit. Right now, I feel like I’m checking the news constantly, always wondering what other horrid thing is going to happen, as if knowing about it will somehow make me better equipped to deal with it.

I can go for three days without knowing.

In any case, if you’re trying to get hold of us for the next bit, you’re going to have a tough time. I might check my email and phone messages in the morning or evening, just in case there are any true emergencies, but that’s just because I’m a library director, and I don’t want anything to happen to the building and me not be able to help out. When I do use my phone for that, there will be a no social media, no news, no anything else rule. Email and phone messages, and just to scan if there are things that can’t wait until Monday.

Catch you all on Tuesday. Wish us luck.


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