Saturday, December 24, 2011

On the 11th Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me: 11 Days a-Vacationing

"On the eleventh day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
11 days a-vacationing,
10 pages turning,
9 ducks a-bugging,
an 8 year old dancing,
7 hens a-laying,
6 cats a-sleeping,
5 More Minutes!
4 calm equines,
3 fuzzy dogs,
2 flightless birds,
and an old farm in the country."

Of the many things for which I am grateful this holiday season, one of the most immediately obvious is Christmas Vacation.  Aaaaahhhhhh.....

My daughter, who loves school, still could not control herself from an obsessive countdown of the days separating her from vacation. (I mean, one can enjoy school as much as humanly possible, but school can't hold a candle to vacation. "School" and "vacation" are the time-spending equivalents of mashed potatoes and chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven. Mashed potatoes can be your favorite food, but no one's going to choose them over cookies.)

Finally, the day came! Bliss! Joy! We are now in a frenzied enjoyment of two full weeks of vacation which, not counting weekends ('cause those wouldn't have been school days anyway), gives us eleven whole weekdays of things like sleeping in, not having to pack a lunch, no homework, and playing instead of studying.

To make the vacation even better, the grandparents are visiting. BONUS!!

I love watching my daughter's wholehearted embracing of her vacation. Frankly, I'm enjoying the whole "sleeping in" thing every bit as much as she is. Vacation: it's the gift that keeps on giving. And, in all honesty, if I can't be grateful for vacation -- a break in the daily routine that runs my life the entire rest of the year -- then I'm probably in danger of becoming either a workaholic or a hermit.

Without vacation days, the holidays would be an impossible melange of commitments, company, and obligations. Vacation: the very word includes "vacate" which means "to leave." Vacation gives me leave to put my regular life on hold for a while, to leave the merry-go-round that my days can become, and to empty my calendar of everything I wish.

So far, at some point during each day of vacation, I catch myself thinking of all the things I could be (should be?) doing. These are the things I normally do, that I'm not doing because the vacation interferes with my regularly scheduled programming. I realize that those things aren't going to get done any time soon. I also realize that the world will not self-destruct because those things aren't happening. And, once again, I am profoundly grateful...

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