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Thursday, August 7, 2008

How I spent my summer Stay-Cation!

It wasn't the price of gas or the state of the economy.  It wasn't even the election.  I wish I could say it was a conscious decision.  But it wasn't any of those things.  It just happened.  I find myself accidentally trendy.  This summer I am having a Stay Cation.

The house is under construction,
Gas is expensive.
All my playmates are doing something else.
Work is soooooo slooooooooow.
I am a bad travel planner, much better at being a go-alonger than an initiator.  

So, I am not going out of town any time soon.  

One night I was watching a commercial for something called Joe's Crab Shack where you eat out of buckets.  They were showing all kinds of hip people laughing and eating out of buckets, drinking fun drinks and I was overcome with a longing for camaraderie, food in buckets, and general summer fun.  I looked up the nearest Joe's Crab Shack and it's in Wilmington.  If I could get one of my friends to go to dinner, I knew they wouldn't go to Wilmington just to eat out of a bucket.  Seldom do they share my complete vision.  Which led me to the question, Why Can't Chester County Have a Crab Shack?  We have thousands of restaurants, some even sell Seafood, or specialize in seafood, but nowhere can you eat from buckets.  I wanted to dress in shorts and colorful linen tops, feel the late afternoon breeze on my sunburned skin, have silly conversations with clever hip people, linger for hours over buckets of clams, lobsters and corn on the cob.  (In this fantasy I am thinner and more blonde. My blue eyes dance while I engage in clever repartee.)  I could not remember the last time I had fun.  I was tired from worry and work and worry about work.  I have spent weeks packing up all my things and moving them to the basement in 100 degree heat to accommodate the house construction. Imagine a summer highlight being spending $2000.00 on plastic bags, totes and shelving. When I got too hot and too exhausted to make the trip from the kitchen, out the front door, down the side of the house, in the basement of the addition, up a plank into the old basement carrying a rubbermaid tote with a 12 piece dish set I have not used for three years, I was drinking home brewed too strong ice tea and playing freecell for hours on end.  Then I would call some previous client that I thought might have a lead to some business which I hoped would save me from having to make the trek with the next box of ceramic mugs or dinner linens.  I only left the farm to go to  Lowes or Walmart and although they have buckets, there are no crabs or corn.   Every day I was being serious, hard working, woefully adult.  Setting goals  to prove my maturity. Killing my own buzz with Teutonic Task Angst.  

Suddenly it all became clear.  I would take a vacation from feeling like hell, and have some fun!  Simple!  

These might not be how you would choose to spend your stay cation, but any way you do it, make the commitment and cut the tether on your woes, and watch that balloon just drift away.  For me, it was a simple decision to just not worry so much for a short time.  Sort of just let go and say yes to some urges and whims.  Here is what I did:

  1. I was quoted in The New York Times.  
  2. I auditioned for a tv show.
  3. I started a blog.
  4. I took up smoking.  
  5. I did a good deed.
  6. I had a fine dinner with friends.
  7. I was quoted in USA-Today and had my picture taken by one of their staff photographers.
  8. I had Ghost Busters Over to the House.
When Charles died, my friend Lynda told me it was like he and I were playing tug of war and he just let go. I have spent some months holding on to my end of the rope, looking at the other end and wondering who was going to pick it up.  Maybe nobody.  I know that in my old life as a wife to Charles, I would not be talking to reporters and bagging work to go off and audition for tv shows.  This is not to say that I chaffed at my responsibilities and obligations.  They were what I was doing then.  I am doing something different now.  Now being different was not something I chose or planned for.  So I am thinking I might wing it for a while.  Maybe stay on Stay Cation for a while. 


Greentwinsmummy said...

well I think you come under the catagory of blooming marvelous :o)
Its hard sometimes when the familier things slide from under our feet like shifting sands,its hard to know what to hold on,or indeed whether to bother trying to hold on at all & just *fall* & see where it all lands up.
I think you will come out fine,it might take time but big changes usually do sweetpea x

Anonymous said...

StayCate for 10, 15 years....then decide what to do.

Shirley Landis VanScoyk, Rodeo Princess said...

Both GREAT Suggestions! Thank you! Thank you!!