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Unexpected Day Off – Just Write

standard April 9, 2014 3 responses
Aptos State Park Beach

The fact that today is Tuesday caught me a bit off guard. We took Monday off yesterday. The girls are off for Spring Break and we had planned to sneak away for a long weekend to welcome the spring at Lake Tahoe. An unexpected bit of rain awarded some patient skiers one bonus week of spring skiing and killed any desire I might have had to pack up the car and treck 5 hours out of our way.

For a weekend of hiking and enjoying spring weather I was willing to make the effort. For a weekend of having to beg and plead with the children to step outside for even one cold nano-second, I was not.

So home we stayed. On Saturday we did a whole lot of nothing. Hanging out, running errands, generally just enjoying our back yard and our home. Sunday we ventured out for the spring hike I’d been hankering to experience (tadpoles and all!) and Sunday we headed over the mountain to relish a lazy day at the beach.

All in all, it was an utterly delightful long weekend.

And this morning I was almost shocked to realize that it was Tuesday… and that I was leaving for Ohio really, really early Thursday morning. (No, but seriously, who lets me book 6am flights? WHO?)

There’s nothing like a little time fueled panic to light a fire under me and I powered through an ever growing to do list, more focused today that I have been in a very, very long time. Tonight I feel good about what I’ve accomplished, good about where I stand, good about what will be waiting for me when I get home from the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop. I’m excited to be heading East to talk all things writing and books with some likeminded people for a few days.

I’m not sure what has been the trigger, but today, right now, as the setting sun streams in through my office window, as the kids eat their dinner to the strains of some teeny bopper Pandora station, as the puppy bounces around, delighted that M has finally gotten home from work, as piles of papers and books crowd my keyboard on my desk, I feel good. The fog has lifted and the future looks bright and hopeful.

It’s a good feeling, one that I’m enjoying just basking in for a moment. Maybe it’s due to the unexpected day off. Maybe it’s due to the sudden arrival of spring. Maybe it was just time for the fog to lift. But why doesn’t matter. The fact that right now is good is enough. I’ll take it.


This post was inspired by the Just Write prompt spearheaded by the delightful Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary. I’m not very good at not drawing conclusions from my ramblings. I promise I’ll try harder next week. Today’s posts by other participants can be found here. 


Winter in California

standard January 24, 2011 5 responses

On Thursday I was shivering in Dallas, thanking online friends for reminding me to throw my winter jacket in my suitcase.

44F in Dallas, Texas. How wrong is that?

I came home and smiled when the pilot announced that the temperature was a balmy 66F at 7pm in San Jose. It’s been cold for a while. It’s lovely to see the warmth return.

We know it’s a fluke. We know the rain will come back and the temperatures will drop again. But this weekend we took wanton advantage of the weather.

Sandcastles in January. How wrong is that?

Weekends are for family, not work

standard April 12, 2010 4 responses

I try very, very hard to turn off the computer on Friday evening and leave it off until Sunday evening. Back when I was the Managing Editor of the paper every single one of my days was sucked into the computer. I had to keep it on – just in case.

Once I quit the paper I resolved that weekends were for family. Just family. Not email. Not blog reading. Not Skyping, IMing, or even Tweeting.

For the most part I’m really good about my no-computer weekend resolve. Granted, I sneak a peek at my BlackBerry every so often, but I do try hard to stay off the actual computer.

The kids appreciate it, the husband appreciates it, and frankly, I like it too. I get to read more, play more, and just relax more.

Then, every so often, a weekend like this one rolls around where I have to keep a closer eye on the BlackBerry and then I actually have to get on the computer and work for a bit.

I had no idea it would cause such stress.

Because of a scheduling snafu I was late in lining up someone to interview for the column I still write for the paper. My article was due Friday, so I needed to find someone fast, schedule the interview fast, and get their story fast.

Fast turned out to be today.

I spent yesterday stalking my email and today prepping for the interview that I had managed to schedule during nap time.

Have you ever scheduled something “during nap time?” It’s code for “the kids will wake up the instant you start whatever it was you were trying to do while they sleep.”

I looked C in the eye and explained that I was going to be on the phone and she could. not. talk. to. me. at all. until I got off. She nodded solemnly and went to go hang out with her daddy.

Much to my shock they actually listened to me and no one talked to me or even came into the kitchen for the first 40 minutes of my call. Then C came to ask me something. I did some crazy waving and shooing away and she actually left the kitchen. Moments later Little L came to see me, only she didn’t leave quite as willingly. I had to apologize to my interviewee for the screams that rang loud and clear into the phone as M hauled Little L out of the kitchen.

I stayed on the phone and tiptoed into the living room, throwing a bag of popcorn to M before scurrying back to the safety and quiet of the kitchen.

A few minutes later I was able to wrap up my call and hang up. I had all my answers and a good feel for the article. I could hear the kids digging into the popcorn happily and I went to thank them for being so good and patient with me.

“I’m sorry I came to talk to you mommy.” C said sadly, looking up at me with her big eyes. “I just couldn’t take it any more!”

I understand her well. I couldn’t take it either. It was brutal being in one room working while they played in the other. I wanted to be with them, enjoying our weekend time together. We’re apart all week long. The weekends should be for family and family alone. It was good to have a reminder of that.

Long lazy wonderful weekends are all too rare and precious

standard October 19, 2009 3 responses

Once in a blue moon, a diamond encrusted miracle takes place: two brilliantly white clear days on the calendar. No scheduled events for a whole weekend.

It’s always a fluke, because if you were to ever notice a full unplanned 48 hours you’d instantly find a million important and urgent things to fill the time. Trips to Ikea or Home Depot. Errands that keep getting put off. Huge organization projects. Or even a day excursion that you’ve always wanted to tackle. God forbid all that precious time go to waste!

This weekend the stars aligned. We had something scheduled both Friday and Sunday evening, so the calendar looked deceptively packed. Add to that the fact that our Saturday afternoon plans were canceled at the last minute and we found ourselves in the presence of that magical thing: a totally free weekend.

Instead of packing up and heading to the beach we opted to stay home. We lazed around, played in the yard, did a few things around the house, covered the front walk in chalk drawings, went to the library, danced in the kitchen, painted some pumpkins, colored, colored, colored, and thoroughly enjoyed the down time.

It was wonderful to not have to run anywhere. It was amazing to just enjoy each other’s company. It was sweet to hear C and Little L playing in their rooms with toys they don’t always have time to enjoy. And it was heaven to be able to curl up on the couch with my book and read while everyone had their own fun. All in all it was just a good weekend. A good, very low key, low stress, mellow weekend.

I wish we had more just like this, but I checked the calendar, the next two gleaming empty weekend days are far, far way.