Staycation: The Real Story

Detail of professional sewing machine with two needles.

How was my staycation?

Last week I wrote about plans for my staycation. Covid has limited my ability to travel and I wanted to prove that staycations are a good alternative. My staycation followed my birthday and I worked hard to make it really special. The plan was to write this blog post and share that staycations can be restful and nourishing.

I think Arthur C. Clarke had me in mind when he said, “All human plans [are] subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one preferred to call the powers behind the Universe.”

In other words, my staycation didn’t turn out as planned!

Does anything in 2020 go as planned?

Quilt-making is my happy place and that was the main thrust of my staycation. I treated myself to some new quilting fabric and a couple of wonderful patterns. Unfortunately, on Staycation Day 2, my trusty sewing machine broke. It turned out that the folks at the local sewing machine repair shop had a death in the family and my machine will not be repaired for weeks.

Of course all good crafters have backup supplies. Unfortunately, I had loaned my son my old sewing machine, so sewing was out of the question. I even tried to buy a used sewing machine on Facebook Marketplace and the seller didn’t respond to my messages. Clearly sewing was not going to be part of my staycation.

I pivoted and read several books, which I enjoyed. I also followed my plan to rely on prepared meals and avoid housework.

The final part of my staycation was a 3-day virtual conference. I was really excited to attend. While there were some helpful nuggets, much of the conference was an infomercial for the organizer’s business and charities. In addition, it was quite disorganized and didn’t adhere to the published schedule. Overall I was disappointed and regretted the investment in time and money.

In summary, my staycation kinda sucked.

What I learned from my staycation

Had I not committed to writing a pro-staycation blog post, I would have given up and returned to work. However I was committed to following through on my time off. Here are a few things I learned:

  • Rest is my responsibility. We talk a lot about the importance of rest in the Solopreneur community, including How Entrepreneurs Can Increase Productivity with Rest and Recovery. I am proud that I recognized the need for time off and followed through – even when I felt like there were more productive things I could be doing.
  • Planning was therapeutic. Even though the staycation did not live up to my expectations, I truly enjoyed the planning process. These are tough times and the idea of a lovely week off lifted my spirits, even if it didn’t turn out as planned.
  • I’m addicted to Facebook. One of my goals was to stay away from the news. However, when my plans fell through, I immediately turned to social media for entertainment. I was shocked to realize that I was refreshing my feed dozens of times per day. This is not productive and I vowed to limit my social media scrolling to breakfast, lunch and post-work time.
  • Go with the flow. I’m sure we’ve all taken vacations that don’t turn out as planned. Perhaps the weather is terrible, the hotel is overbooked, or we end up with food poisoning! We cope and try to make the best of the experience. To be honest, I never considered that my staycation would be subject to the same challenges as any other vacation. When things didn’t go as planned, I tried hard to make good decisions and still enjoy my time off.

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Staycation: The Real Story
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