Once, while I was staying with one of my brothers, my sister-in-law commented that her girlfriend had just come back from a weekend away at a fancy spa-retreat-hotel. The reason for this lovely vacation was that the girlfriend’s husband had gone away for the prior weekend so this weekend away had been booked to ‘give her a break’.
My brother, never one to miss even the most subtle of hints jumped on this idea right away. “If you need a break dear, I would be happy to carry a garden chair to the bottom of the garden for you and, you can sit in it for as long as you like.”
If you happen know either of my brothers, I am in no doubt at this point that you know which brother I am talking about.
I don’t have a garden…nor do I particularly need a break from my very lovely child (and husband) so it is not for this reason that I find myself in self-exile to my boat this week.
I’m quite good at balance – you know, that work/life balance thing that is fodder for approximately one gajillion articles on the internet. (True statistic, honest.)
The problem with balance, is that while you are doing everything, you don’t actually get anything done.
I have a gargantuan work project on the go and I really would like to have it see daylight at some point this millennia, so just before Christmas a really great idea came to me as I was out for a run. (See I really am good at the whole work/life/health balance thing.)
Arrangements were made with work, husband was coerced and a plan was set. I was taking a week out of being a Mum. I was moving to the boat and I was just going to work.
And how has it gone?
Fan-flipping-bloody-tastic. I’ve thrown, exercise-time, down-time, me-time, mum-time, personal-hygiene-time, food-prep-time and care-about-anything-else-time to the wind. In fact you probably don’t want to stand down wind of me due to the lack of personal-hygiene-time, also due to the food prep thing – I cooked a ham and some cabbage on Monday. Today is day 4 of left overs. Yeah, I know – that sounds gross, but it’s reasonably economical, easy and let me say it again… I’m on a sabbatical. I called Gordon Ramsay and asked him to bring me his left overs – he told me to go ____ (insert noun here.). So, ham and cabbage it is, I’ll do gourmet next week.
The amount of work I’ve done is amazing, I’m so excited by how much I’ve got done. When you have contiguous time, it’s amazing how much you can do, and how many great ideas you can have. That’s one thing Mum’s rarely get – time to just sit and work quietly like adults can do, without distractions for long periods of time.
It’s January in Vancouver, nights are long and dark, the boat is not set up ergonomically for typing 11 hours a day, and I seem to have to defrost the washing up liquid each time I want to use it. So no, this is no luxury work retreat, but I am so lucky to have the support to be able to leave my family for 5 days, (and sneak back for the occasional hug) and to have a lovely boat to hide away on at all….it would have been a very long 5 days sitting on a garden chair in a park. (For lack of a garden.)
So now it’s Thursday, and I’m on the final stretch. I’m so glad for all I’ve been able to do, but I can feel my body telling me that it’s patience is nearly up with what I’m putting it through. I figured the boys at home are ready for me to come back too.
So I asked the young man, if I should come back tomorrow.
“Nah, I wouldn’t bother.” was his reply.
What have they been up too?!?