Last week, I was scheduled three furlough days — where I had to use vacation or take them unpaid. I ultimately decided not to go anywhere because my brother was staying with me and arriving from Bangalore, India, where he spent the summer. But as the days approached, I couldn’t believe I was taking a “staycation” and not jetting off to a new, exciting place.
But the time was glorious. I slept in and sipped coffee on the couch in the morning. I met girlfriends for mid-afternoon coffees. I bought myself a funky dress and some sandals. I saw a matinee of Funny People by myself and then read my book on the water in Georgetown while sipping an iced chai. I repotted a plant, cleaned my room, did laundry, went on a run, and made myself a dinner of salmon, corn on the cob and salad.
And on Wednesday, A. played hooky and booked a white water kayaking trip to Harpers Ferry, W. Va. He did the work — he found the river guides, mapped it, drove and prepaid. All he asked is that I pack a lunch — I filled a bag of PB&J, peaches, apples, bananas, trail mix and protein bars and coconut water. It was hot and sunny. We put on PFDs (personal floating devices) and helmets and rowed our way down the river through relatively mild rapids (I still have blisters on my lower fingers from the workout). As dusk approached, we split a burger in a restaurant in an old red train car across from the train station in downtown Harpers Ferry. And when we got home — smelling of river water — at 8:30 p.m. on my last day of furlough, I was worn out and happy.
Time off — even if it’s forced and you don’t go anywhere — is an amazing, healthy treat.