In House Vacation

Things have settled down in our household. Steve is recovering nicely from the surgery he had two weeks ago so my nursing job is pretty much all wrapped up. I still am the chauffer and there are quite a few things he can’t do with the use of only one arm, but the intense part of recovery is over…that is, for me. Steve will have to face the physical therapist in 3 weeks.

Because of all of this going on, Steve and I have had a lot of time to spend together. This is rare because our work schedules are polar opposites: He speeds off to rehearsal as I step in the door from work; the week-end is his time to gig and direct, day and night. It has been really great to spend so much time with him, even with the stress of recovery.

Our time together has been filled with TV, talking, snacking and hanging with the kids. There’s been a ton of snuggling, and communicating and laughing and sharing meals, and kissing, and showers together and cooking together, and so on.

Is this what normal couples do on the week-end (normal meaning the ones that have two regular work schedules)? Do they hang together like this? Hhmmmm…I wonder.

Time for one of my informal surveys.

Results? Mostly: laughter. Then came incredulity.

“What planet are you from? The week-end is the only time I have to get things done!” or “Pauline,
are you crazy? How can I justify sitting around all day watching episode after episode of The Office? or “NO WAY! My husband does his thing while I do mine. We usually meet up for meals, which I make all by myself, thank you very much.” or “I wouldn’t want him in my kitchen! And he doesn’t want me in his garage. Thank God.” or just “What?”

We are all busy, aren’t we? Run. Run. Run. There is just so much to do. ALL the time.

I’m no exception, except that Steve’s surgery has given both of us a justification for slowing down. Well, o.k., I really don’t know why I feel justified. I mean, I could let him lay around all by himself while I continued to get things done around the house. But what fun would that be for my patient? There is such a thing as his mental health, too, and he would be happier with me there. Yes, I need to continue to think of the health of the patient, so I must continue to stay by his side, doing nothing. (Sometimes rationalization works as well as justification)

Anyway, I got to thinking.

And I had an idea.

Just for you – the couples who work the same weekly schedule. (Remember this – when you take the time to recharge your batteries, you are much more efficient with all you do.)

O.K. so here it is: Have a week-end get away AT HOME. A mini in-house vacation.

The do’s:
Cook together. Order food delivered. Rent a ton of movies (it’s fun to get a series of movies or a season of a TV show). Bathe together. Eat in front of the TV. Play cards. Play games. Kiss a lot. Snuggle in such a way that you can both rub a part of the others body while you watch TV. (this can be as innocent as you care to make it). Go for walks. Take naps. Sleep in. Tell jokes. Read to each other. Read a book while lying next to the other. And so on.

The don’t’s:
Don’t go to the gym (going for a long walk can be the substitute). Don’t start or continue any household project. Don’t fix anything. Only shop for fun. Run only the errands that are a necessity. Do not wash the clothes. Don’t make your bed. Do not use this time to address any long standing “issues” in your marriage.

There are a lot more don’ts but I’ve set the stage here, right?

For those of you with young children…uhmmm…I guess you could print this out and save it for a couple of years (Sorry!). If you can get the kids (any age) out of the house for part (all) of the week-end, so much the better.

Remember the key: NO GUILT. If “I should be…” crosses your mind, boot it out. (you are on vacation, damnit!)

Have fun.

This concludes another view from my married life.