A new year has begun. My mini vacation has come to an end and I sit here reflecting on what I have – or have not – accomplished during this time.
This year, because Christmas and New Year’s Day both fell on Tuesday’s I took the Monday’s as unpaid holidays which gave me a five day weekend and a four day weekend with only two working days in between. That meant that out of eleven consecutive days I had nine days off – a mini vacation.
Now, anyone who knows me well will ask “What major project did you tackle with all that time off?” It’s true that even with a three day weekend I usually have some type of grandiose plan to build or renovate something. With nine days off I should have managed to complete a lot.
It is with some consternation that I now look back on my mini vacation and think ‘I should have done more’. The one ‘big’ project I undertook really only took two days to complete so in fact it could have been done on any normal weekend.
Yes, I did also do a ton of laundry and some other housework. I did reorganize the storage area in the basement. I did spend time with my family. I even – and this is difficult for me to admit – I even slept in until 9:30 am – twice. Seriously!!
I struggle to resist the urge to say that I wasted precious time – to start listing all the things that I didn’t do. To agonize about all the things I could have/should have done with that much time off.
The one big project I undertook was to reorganize my ‘office’ workspace. I cleared out much of the miscellaneous stuff that was stored under and on top of my desk. The desk and storage area were disassembled and rebuilt.
My new desk is smaller – less room for odds and ends to accumulate on top of it. Instead of facing the corner my desk now faces the playroom. Turning the desk and making it smaller gives the children more open floor space in which to play – that was my objective when I planned this project.
Yet, turning my desk also gives me a different point of view. My desk no longer covers my piano – hiding it from view. My piano and the window are now visible from my seat at the desk – both distract me from my paperwork. I spent less than one hour on paperwork during the nine days that I had off.
I played my piano more during this last week than I did in all of the first 51 weeks of 2012 combined. One of the children notice the piano and asked if I got it for Christmas. No, I’ve had it for a long time but it has been buried under paperwork.
Certainly I enjoy the building and renovating and I think that gardening and yard work are enjoyable activities too – they are forms of productive play. I don’t even really mind doing housework. It is unproductive time that causes me grief.
I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions but this year I think I will. This year I will try to not feel so guilty about ‘wasting’ time. I’m going to look at it from a different perspective. I’m going to take a deep breath and say ‘sometimes it is OK to spend time on things that don’t produce a tangible result – it is not a waste of time’.