Relaxing is Hard Work

Here it is, the last few minutes of my week-long vacation and I’m trying desperately to enjoy it. In fact, most of my vacation has been spent trying to enjoy every minute.

One thing I’ve realized over the years is that I don’t do good without structure or deadlines.

I just kinda bounce around and eat like a starving whale. So, I schedule vacations that have the itinerary of a Navy SEAL in training.

It’s a lot of heavy lifting and on your knees deep cleaning. Did you think we actually went somewhere fun for vacation? Ha!

We cleaned out our garage, filling up the rented dumpster in about 3 hours. I emptied out all the expired can goods from the kitchen cabinets. Surely, it hadn’t been 10 years since the last time I had done the same but the cans that expired in 2010 were there as evidence.

Yesterday, my husband and I and our 15-year-old son went to my family’s cabin in southern Illinois. It was the one day I had set aside for actual relaxation. I had envisioned crackling camp fires, glorious sunsets through the fall foliage and roasting marshmallows. We were going to spend the night in the rustic cabin and listen for coyotes in the darkness.

Instead, it was too warm to enjoy a fire, we were bored within 15 minutes, and instead of roasting marshmallows, we all sat staring at our phone screens.

I became perturbed by the fact that I couldn’t get the proper framing and lighting for the perfect photos I was going to share with people who wouldn’t care about them.

We burnt the cheeseburgers and didn’t want to go for a walk in the woods because it was too buggy.

We also took my handgun to get some good target practice in. We quickly realized that any robber in the house in the middle of the night would be perfectly safe with us and that gun. The only way it could protect us is if we threw it at the robber. Even then, it would probably miss.

If I was being graded in Redneck Woman 101 I would have failed miserably. I knew I had to go back to my city and protest something, like all Democrats do.

After 3 hours which felt like 3 days we tried to settle in. That ended when I found a dead spider that looked like it belonged in the mammal family. It looked furry and meaty. It was in the bedroom hanging in its web next to the bed.

The bed itself had mildew on the mattress cover and I saw the type of bug that crunches when stepped on skitter across the floor.

I spent a lot of time there as a kid and I sure don’t remember it being that “nature-y”. I majored in fish and wildlife conservation in college so you’d think all that biodiversity in the cabin would be right up my alley but nope.

There was no way I was sleeping on that bed knowing that spider probably has surviving family members.

So we went home and now I’m exhausted. The end.

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