The problem with a day off (versus an off-day) is that it begets the desire for another day off.
Suffering from what felt like a terminal case of writer/volunteer/mother burn-out, with a deadline just met and nothing particularly pressing, I did the unthinkable. After getting up and packing a school lunch, I enjoyed a long and leisurely shower with no thoughts, no environmental or social concerns about the quantity or temperature of the water that poured from the wall, over my body, and into the drain. I dressed in ratty clothes excavated from a chair that attracts such things.
With the towel still tied like a turban around my head, I noticed the bed with rumpled sheets, the table with the heirloom lamp, and the stack of books beside it. An almost finished book was on top of the pile. I smirked evilly, leapt into the bed, pulled up the covers and read in decadent bliss. “Ah, such luxury, this,” I sighed.
Book finished I thought, “naptime.” But naptime seemed such a waste on a chilly fall day with golden leaves on the trees, snow on the ground, and the sun shining brightly. I discarded the blankets, made the bed and headed to the kitchen . I had pumpkin muffins on my mind.
Muffins made with little blobs of cream cheese at their centres, muffins eaten and washed down with icy milk retrieved from the kitchen step, I thought, “dog.” Chinook and I headed outside for a lovely walk that served to invigorate as much as to put some pink in my cheeks.
“Hot chocolate,” I thought when we returned. Mmmm, hot, sugary sweetness seeped down my throat and into my belly.
“What next?” My head reviewed the list of chores: clean bathrooms, sweep and wash kitchen floor, dust, vacuum, deal with basement. None of these seemed attractive for a day off. I sat in the front room, feet on the coffee table wondering what I’d do, now that I had nothing to do. I glanced at the laptop. It winked coyly, “Come on. Come on,” it said. “Touch me. Open me up.”
I ignored the siren’s call. A day off meant no work. A day off meant not thinking of work, a day off meant…what?
“Don’t touch the computer,” the voice said. “Touch the computer and you will have failed.”
Perhaps, thought I, perhaps touching the computer equals a fail, as I stepped one foot in my office to retrieve a notebook and a fast-writing pen capable of keeping up with the images that were moving through my mind. I swirled a soft blanket over my shoulders, hunched into a corner of the sofa, and began that writing project I’d been unconsciously mulling, but that only now was coming to me, idea fully formed.
I’m thinking that maybe, I should take today off, too. It seems a rest with a smattering of pure, self-indulgent decadence fills the well of creativity to overflowing.
© 2012 Sue Farrell Holler