My Summer Staycation
I’ve been on vacation for two weeks. I’ve always felt my best vacations have been those spent in the homes of friends in unfamiliar places. Exploring a strange place with the safety net of familiar friends and a cozy guest room makes for the perfect combination. Unlike hotel or cruise ship vacations (which have charms of their own), the “home away” vacation lets me live someone else’s life, if only for a week or two. There was the time I experienced life as a well-heeled, work-at-home mom in Miami. Or the three bucolic weeks I lived in a 350-year old stone house in the Hudson Valley. I’ve stayed in mid-century moderns in LA, grand brick colonials in Virginia, suburban McMansions, townhouses in Twickenham, flats in small Russian cities you’ve never heard of. The common thread: the warmth of the people opening their doors to us – home truly is where the heart is.
Home is also where I spent this vacation. Yes, I “stay-cationed.” My husband was in Russia visiting elderly relatives, I was at home working the summer camp/swim team/taekwondo circuit with my 6 year-old son. And loving every single minute of it. As with those other vacations, I got a glimpse of another life: mine, as a work-at-home mom. I was in touch with the office, monitoring email and Twitter constantly, even coming in one day for an important meeting. But I was also present at every swim team practice, every meet, every play date. I got to catch up with a couple of moms in town I really enjoy – on the playground, at the pool, at the Dunkin Donuts. I felt connected to my town in a way I haven’t in a long time.
Sure, my laptop was my accessory (good thing mine is pimped out with a groovy new Gelaskin). I whipped that baby out whenever I had down time — editing presentations in the lobby of the martial arts studio, pruning my email inbox at the local coffee joint before camp pick-up. I took time to do something for this much-abused body of mine, too, hitting the local pool for good, hard mile-long swims; even hauling myself back to the gym where I was greeted by not one by three employees with a too-boisterous, “Haven’t seen YOU in a while!”
In other words, I was balanced. I was making it all work. I was taking care of things and people that needed to be cared for – and I was even taking care of me. I go back to the office tomorrow. Thanks to a few pretty serious emails that came in over the weekend, I already feel this fragile equilibrium slipping.
Stay tuned for further dispatches from the Working Mom Teeter-Totter.