Back in December I wrote about that feeling you get when you need a vacation from your vacation. My husband had planned this cozy, COVID-safe little getaway to the mountains and it was every bit as magical as you can imagine. However, the icing on the cake was the extra time I took afterwards just to catch up and readjust from vacation mode to real life. The staycation, I called it.
It reminded me that, if given the opportunity to take time for yourself, take it.
Fast forward to the past couple of weeks.
As pre-k ended for my son, kinder camp started for him and preschool started for the toddler. The transition has been anything but easy for our family. We spent the last year and a few months on a rhythm for our little family that was intimate and slow. The kids spent weekdays at Grandma’s while mom worked from home and dad went to the office. There were no field trips or packed lunches. No site visits or work trips.
Suddenly, our routine was upended by the hustle and bustle of a life we once left to shelter in place.
We were all short fused, especially me. I found myself yelling at my son and walking away from my screaming daughter. I would snap at my husband. I would be tired and impatient at work. As a family weekend getaway to my best friend’s house in Indio approached, I no longer looked forward to lugging the kids belongings to three-digit heat. That’s why my husband proposed,
“Why don’t you go to Indio by yourself?”
A weekend trip without kids? No strings attached? I knew this would be rough. Both kids have been clinging to me more than usual the last couple of weeks. The older one knew about the trip and would be devastated to learn he was no longer invited. I paused and pondered.
Then, I remembered my last staycation.
I packed my bags and headed out Friday afternoon.
Despite the three hour drive, every minute was worth it. My friends made reservations at Alps Village at the late hour of 7 p.m., something I couldn’t dream of doing since the bedtime routine starts at 6:30 sharp. We ate dessert, Alps White cake, a decadent treat that I didn’t have to share with my little ones.
We capped off the night with drinks and dancing at The Nest in Indian Wells. There was a live band and a bustling bar top. A sight I hadn’t seen in years. I had no curfew. I had no one to be responsible for but myself. It was glorious.
The next day, tired and maybe just a little hungover, we cancelled brunch and opted for breakfast takeout instead. We binged the entire new season of Workin’ Moms and stayed in our pajamas until noon – something I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do on an ordinary Saturday morning. We lounged by the pool and listened to the explicit lyrics of The Weeknd. My staycation cup spilled over.
I was filled with gratitude once again.
The original plan was to stay through Sunday morning, leaving before the desert heat makes driving a tentative task. Instead, I opted to get home by my older kid’s bedtime on Saturday night, surprising him with a goodnight kiss.
My heart was full.
Today as I write this may seem like another Sunday filled with chores and getting ready for the busy week ahead. But something is different. My spirits have been lifted. I’m tackling my to-do list with a tenacity I had lost to burnout.
I’m happy to be home.
Yet, I’m even happier to have the opportunity to miss it every now and then too by taking a staycation.