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Stay-cation

backyard-1Although Mark and I try to have at least a weekend or two a year to ourselves, we generally go away for those days, holing up in a place where someone else makes our bed and food, and we can slip out of most every typical role and routine, parenthood included.  As I mentioned before, this week was different. We certainly worked. We still made our bed each morning and cleaned our home. We rearranged furniture and cleaned out neglected piles and closets. Mark painstakingly installed floating shelves in our kitchen (which look incredible–I can’t wait to share), while I painted the rest of our cabinetry (white, of course) and left for work at the college on my two usual days. Some friends lamented us, wishing us to spend the week in real vacation mode–and honestly, going into the week, I felt a tinge of my own sadness, too. However, remaining home this week was pleasantly surreal. Void of the usual [running, squealing, laughing, fighting] noises, I could hear our home’s more subtle sounds, the way our old windows vibrate when the AC runs or the way our floors creak under our footsteps. I listened to the birds chorus each day’s beginning and the locusts hum its end. I moved through ordinariness almost seamlessly–without bodies draped over me or “emergency” helps like finding shoes or snacks or a babysitter. I listened to the audiobook Paris in Love, a memoir of a couple (both professors and writers) who decide to move their family to Paris for a year. Distracted by James’ description of patisseries, and Parisian style, art, and architecture, I lost track of how long I painted. On a side note, when possible, always listen to an audiobook while painting. I had a night out with girlfriends and went on a movie date with Mark. Of course, Mark and I also enjoyed uninterrupted conversation and time together, too, and for the first time in a while, we could discuss and dream possibilities instead of merely what we had scheduled for the day. We ate our meals together, sometimes with other people, sometimes just the two of us. When I picked the kids up on Saturday, ready to squeeze and kiss them, I realized the most restorative part of last week was remembering life with just the two of us, before the decade of parenthood, before the home renovations and interstate moves. Just the two of us. This week, I remembered the quality of our life isn’t about what we’re doing; it’s about whom we’re living it with.  A good note, I’d say.

 

4 replies
  1. Kate
    Kate says:

    So nice. I will take your tip and, when I get married, make sure to spend quality time with just me and my husband. Sounds like you had a nice time.

    Reply
    • Bethany
      Bethany says:

      We really did, even without the major luxuries. And yes, quality time goes a long way in our marriage, but I imagine that’s true in any marriage. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Diana
    Diana says:

    This sounds like a lovely weekend! It sounds like you accomplished a lot, which must feel great, and I’m so excited to see these floating shelves!

    Also, listening to audiobooks while painting is a wonderful idea — I’ve been listening to This American Life podcasts while I work, and (gasp!) am actually starting to get tired of them. Will have to check out Paris in Love…any other audiobooks you would recommend?

    Reply
    • Bethany
      Bethany says:

      Yes, I definitely recommend Paris in Love for a light-hearted listen–beware: it will make you hungry. 😉 It reminded me a bit of Eat, Pray, Love (which I recommend listening to if you haven’t). I also recently read Unbroken, a war memoir of an Olympic athlete drafted into WWII–such an incredible story. I definitely recommend it, too! Such a hard question since most of the time I read the books instead of listening to them. If you discover any good ones, let me know! x

      Reply

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