This week is spring break in our local schools. Sadly, I am not on spring break but instead currently sitting in my windowless office. From Facebook, all of my friends and neighbors are in exotic or at least warm locations like Mexico, Tennessee and Florida (especially Florida). May is on the trip of a lifetime to Italy. I am a bit envious of these warm weather vacations. In the meantime, my husband and I feel like the sole survivors of a zombie apocalypse when we walk Gatsby through the neighborhood when not another soul is seen or detected. So what do you do in order not to die of jealousy when everyone else is on spring break?
1. Enjoy Your Free Time. Many of my usual weekly activities have been cancelled this week. So I am going to enjoy having some free unstructured time. And with that unstructured time I am going to do whatever I want which could be cracking a book on my TBR pile or working on a writing project. I am still working on my 40 bags in 40 days project too (I think we are up to 15 bags donated or thrown out plus a very big extension ladder), so I can use some free time to keep up the work.
2. Be a Tourist in Your Own Town. We live in the world recognized city of Chicago and rarely do we take advantage of all the city has to offer. Being a tourist in your own town can be a lot of fun and the best part is you already know you way around. I plan on taking some time soon to visit the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Botanical Gardens. Both of these have been on my list of things to do that I have not quite gotten around to.
3. Run Errands. As weird as it sounds, run errands this week. Everyone is gone which means the stores will be empty. I am always happy when my trip to the grocery store is fast. Go wander the aisles of Target and look at the new spring decor and outdoor furniture. Go to the mall and do some window shopping. I always find errands to be more pleasant when I am not being run over and knocked into by other people.
4. Go Out to Dinner. Similarly, because everyone is gone the restaurants are less crowded. Pick a popular place that is impossible to get into and try and snag a reservation.
5. Go to a Nursery or Garden Center. This past weekend the weather was miserable. A steady cold rain kept us company all day on Saturday. My husband and I took a ride out to a garden center that we had never been. We wandered around. We bought some new string lights for our screened in porch, enjoyed some fresh plants in the greenhouse and got some ideas for our yard when the weather turns. Because planting does not traditionally start until Mother’s Day weekend in Chicago, the garden center did not yet have outdoor annuals and perennials but we plan to go back once they do. It is not a tropical landscape but at least you can enjoy a few plants.
6. Catch Up On Work. This might be a great week to catch up on work. A lot of your colleagues and business contacts are out of the office which means you can tackle some of those projects uninterrupted by emails and phone calls. And next week when everyone is stressed and catching up on the backlog, you will know that you are ahead of the game.
7. Be Thankful You Are Not at Disney. Finally, be thankful you are not at Disney World this week. My mom, who winters in Florida, happened to be at Disney World this past Saturday and she said it was so very, very crowded. She told me Spring Break is not the time to visit unless you like crowds. They were not able to enjoy very many rides or shows because of the lines and crowds. I think an off-season trip to Florida or another popular location may be more enjoyable for us when it is not Spring Break.
8. Enjoy Where You Are. I find it very easy to get caught up in what others are doing and forget to enjoy where I am in the moment. I may not be enjoying the beach or some sunny warm weather, but I can enjoy the moment. I will remember to enjoy sleeping in my own comfortable bed. I will remember to enjoy taking Gatsby for walks. I will remember to enjoy the slight hint of spring weather that is in the air. So while I am not away on Spring Break, I can still enjoy the simple things in the moment and look forward to the anticipation of trip away in the future. –June
Wherever you are, be all there. -Jim Elliott