Staycation Report: A Resounding Success (with one foreseeable drawback)

The staycation I wrote about Friday ended yesterday evening at 6pm. As I said then, the main goal of the weekend was to make it feel different than just a normal weekend at home. We weren’t going anywhere, and we didn’t really have anything spectacular planned. How could we make a break feel like a real break? I’ve been through enough three day weekends to know how much they often start off with promise, only to end up as just another weekend, that maybe was slightly longer, but didn’t feel that much different.

Overall, it was mission successful. What did we get done over the weekend? Well, not really anything, from a “things we needed to do” perspective, but from a fun perspective?

  • We got food from three different restaurants (Orange Cat Cafe, Basil’s, and House of Pizza)
  • We played four board games as a family (Kingdomino, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, and Carcassone)
  • We watched four movies (My Octopus Teacher, Knight’s Tale, O Brother Where Art Thou, and That Darn Cat)
  • We played a variety of video games together (Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, Final Fantasy VI)
  • I finished 1.5 books (Wintersteel and half of The Testaments)
  • We went on two “shopping sprees,” that ended up being . . . mixed. The grocery store spree was much more popular. Kids loved being able to get anything they wanted to eat. The Walmart run? Much less successful, though I found that really encouraging, actually. No one really wanted to get things just to “get things.” So yay for that.
  • We hiked the local ski mountain (Titcomb), with Ferris in tow.
  • We had a BYU football party. (Thank goodness we won!)

Maybe all of that doesn’t sound like too much when I rattle it off like that. I mean, we had three days to do it, but really, I was impressed by the different the lack of devices made for the weekend. We spent a whole lot more time together as a family, with everyone there fully present and involved. And I felt like I had a ton of time as well.

I definitely felt the absence of my phone, as I expected I would. There were many many times that I found myself just sitting there instead of checking the news or Reddit or my email. But instead of those times feeling like empty downtimes, I was spending the time doing other things: talking to my kids, for one thing. Go figure.

Now, there was one bad side effect of all of this. When I plugged back in yesterday evening, I had around 100 emails waiting for me, and that was after I’d already been going through checking emails once at night and in the morning, deleting any fluff, just to make sure no emergencies came up. Yet another reminder that yes, I get a lot of emails. So I went from feeling super relaxed and content with my weekend to feeling fairly stressed by everything I had to do to catch up.

Ideally there’d be some way to reach a middle ground in all of that. Maybe what I need to do is get up in the morning each day and not just check emails and delete the fluff, but answer the ones that need immediate attention. I don’t know. I do know I want to avoid that avalanche feeling I got when I checked back in . . .

But overall, the weekend was a success, and I want to see what I can about replicating it more in my everyday life. Maybe I’ll put my phone away when I get home, or after a certain time. Maybe we’ll talk about it as a family and see what approach would work best for us. In the end, it was just three days, but because of those simple base rules, it felt much, much longer than that.


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