Vacation

This post has already been written once. Then I did a quick CTRL+A and deleted the entire thing. I’m going to try again.

My staycation has not gone according to plan. I thought I would write. I would plan each day by the hour. I would hide myself away in the office and cover my ears with padded ‘phones and ignore the sounds of screaming children for a week. I would play music. I would record an album. I would play every computer game I have purchased and not opened in the past year. I would take myself to the movies. I would sit at a coffee shop and in a caffeinated haze, blow out my first novel. I would sleep in.

Today is day Seven. I have done exactly NONE of those things. Instead, I have taken my toddler son to the hospital. I have sat and watched him writhe in my arms as a smokey-breathed man laid wet plaster on my son’s right leg while attempting to perform his best Elmo impression. I have sat with him on the couch and watched more episodes of Kipper than I would like to share. I have opened birthday presents with him, a couple each day (as a diversion) and tried to encourage him to get off the couch and play Legos. I have held my infant son in my arms as he sobbed at night through a nasty cold. I have comforted my wife who was similarly struck down, and attempted to form a plaster mask of my own.

But I am done now. I have succumbed myself to sickness and feeling miserable for myself. Day Seven is truly my first day of vacation. I have dragged myself out of bed, dirty tissues trailing behind, and landed at that coffee shop. I am writing. I have already written paragraphs that have been destroyed. I suppose I’ll let this stand. I need to publish something this week. I need to check off one item on the list. Maybe I’ll squeeze in a movie, sneezing into my popcorn box. Maybe I’ll head home and try a computer game for a bit.

Maybe I will be able to stop nagging myself endlessly about not getting anything done. And when I return to work next week and everyone asks me “how was your vacation?” I will smile, and lie through my teeth and tell them it was exactly what I needed.

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