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Lesson: Reading and baseball are priorities

In 2020, vacation for me meant several changes to what I had originally planned for this summer.
I had planned to jump in my old car, travel south to Pierre, where my brother and his wife live, then head to Nebraska to visit my nieces who live there, and then head to the Black Hills to visit my nephew.
I was plotting my strategy for both plan options when COVID-19 came into play. Best laid plans went out the window and a “staycation” became my reality.
I was bummed that I couldn’t enjoy one of my favorite pastimes of driving on the open road and playing “dodge the county sheriffs and highway patrol” on my way around the state. I may have grown older, but I still have a lead foot when it comes to driving. I don’t really mean to break the law, but my compulsive competitive nature makes it more fun for me have some sort of competition going on even when I am driving.
It hasn’t always worked and several times I have had to dig into my vacation fund to pay fines. You would think I would learn a lesson, but I haven’t yet!
Two weeks away from office stress with not much to do and all the time in the world to do it, was just what the doctor ordered.
I made a list of all of the things I wanted to accomplish during that time and even set a bit of a schedule.
Again, the best laid plans went out the window. Something else entirely different happened during that time.
First of all, Mother Nature had a huge hand in the change of plans. As I have gotten older, my tolerance for heat and humidity has drastically changed. Breathing in the humidity is difficult and heat sends me scurrying into the comfort of an air conditioned space.
So for the first week on my vacation, with temperatures in the mid 90s and dewpoints into the 70s, I was homebound. I took that time to enjoy two of my lifelong loves: reading and watching baseball.
I did a lot of reading. I watched every baseball game that I had a chance to. If the matchups weren’t that interesting, I would have the game on for background noise while I read. I have really missed baseball.
Needless to say, my home office area didn’t get cleaned out. I didn’t clean my closets or find out what is living under the stairs in the basement. My front porch still looks like one of those disaster units on “Storage Wars” and I didn’t get my bedroom painted.
Did I mention my list was a bit overly ambitious?
Instead, I read as many books and stories I could find on my Amazon Fire. I watched some obscure movies and some of my old favorites. I cooked one of my favorite meals almost every day.
Instead of accomplishing my goals, I simply chillaxed for the entire first week.
When the weather cooperated the second week, I created a Zen garden in my backyard (one thing I had on my list), cleaned out some weeds and trimmed some bushes.
Then I spent a couple hours every day sitting in a lawn chair at the edge of my new Zen garden, with my reading material, letting God’s gifts soothe my soul.
I listened to the birds, watched the yellow swallowtails dance between the lilies and hollyhocks and strengthened a strange friendship with my neighbor’s cat. Most people know I am not a cat person, so this weird bond between this little yellow cat and myself is a head shaker for me. But the cat lays not too far away from me, we have quiet conversations and every once in a while, a bit of petting.
It made me realize I really need to get a new dog in my life.
I was cleaning the piles of mail off of my table on Tuesday and found my list. Only one thing could be crossed off, the Zen garden.
But my soul healing two weeks of laziness, reading and baseball was important for me and my coworkers, who I am sure felt my vacation time this summer couldn’t have come soon enough.

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