For the first time in a very long time, I took vacation from Christmas through New Year’s. We don’t tend to travel for the holidays, or have big family events, so most years, I only take a couple of days off–maybe the Eves, or the days after the holidays, if they connect to a weekend. But this year I was so busy with major projects that we got to September and I still had 13 days to use up, so I thought, “Why not?”
Well, the best reason why not would be: it was so fun, now I want to do it every year! I can’t remember the last time I had eight days off and just stayed home. It was marvelous. We hit a very good balance between social events and being homebodies; we’re both introverts, so it’s good for us to get out and see people, but not too much all at once, and we needed a few days to hide away from the world, too.
We accomplished a lot of little things around the house that have been needing doing for ages, which is always an emotional boost for me. (What can I say? I’m a nester.) I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I did start a couple of new things that I’m hoping will turn into good habits. I set up a laundry-sorting system–I don’t mind actually doing the laundry, it’s the sorting and prep work that makes me avoid it until the pile is too huge to ignore. So now, I do a little prep each day: when clothes come off, I empty the pockets and put them into one of four baskets, by type. The idea is, when a basket gets full, it can just be dumped into the washer, no sorting necessary, and no need to wait for the weekend, sort out three of four loads, and devote several hours to getting them washed, dried, folded, and put away. If I come home on Tuesday and find the Colors basket full, into the washer it goes! Two hours between dinner and TV, and it’s done. I HOPE. I’ve been good about the sorting piece for over a week; let’s see if the rest of it works out.
Setting up that system forced some reorganization in the bedroom, out of which I also gained a designated spot to put my purse and bag at the end of the day–so they’re not moving from bed to desk chair to floor anymore. Having the laundry off the closet floor means there’s now room for shoes in there, so they, too, get put away at the end of the day. It’s only been a week, but I’m still psyched every time I see the clean floor in the bedroom, so there is positive reinforcement.
We also designated a basket for paper recycling; conveniently, it’s right by both our mail station and the door near the recycling bin. Junk mail comes in, it goes straight to the recycling basket; other mail gets read and dealt with, then joins it. Magazines, catalogs, flattened boxes–in the bin!
That’s a tidy start to a fresh new year, wouldn’t you agree? And the best part of my holiday vacation: everyone at work was off, too, so I went back to no voicemails, an empty (physical) inbox, and only about 60 “real” emails to deal with! There wasn’t even a catch-up penalty at the end of all the fun! Yep, I’m eying my vacation bank and the 2014 calendar pretty carefully…just 354 days until Christmas!