6 weekend hours without the kids

photo-387I had the kids solo Friday and Sunday, so Saturday was my husband’s turn to take them, at least in my mind. I’m not sure he would have automatically done this. But I have no desire to participate in the martyrdom Olympics, so rather than drop hints I asked him to get them out of the house. He did. The minivan pulled out of the driveway at 10:30 a.m., and I calculated that the trip he’d discussed would likely take about 6 hours. So then I faced this question: what should I do with the time?

There were “responsible” things: I need to get a new contact lens prescription at some point. I could have de-cluttered the office or gotten caught up on work.

However, the point of getting this time off was partly to get myself in the right mindset for doing Sunday solo. I wanted to fill the time with as much rejuvenation as possible. And I think I did a good job of it (though it was a bit expensive).

I took a few minutes post kid departure to hatch a plan and take care of a few to-dos. I started with sending my preferred Disney ride choices to Jamie, travel agent extraordinaire, who emailed back that she’d scored my daughter and me a reservation at Akershus. We will be dining with the princesses! I am so looking forward to this. I also wrote out a plan for the workweek, which made me feel a lot less stressed. I never plan my life down to the minute (seriously – a false perception); my workweek schedule just spells out the top 5 work priorities and top 2 personal priorities each day, but having that assures me that there is time for all that matters. It will all get done.

Having done that, I started on some more obviously rejuvenating activities. I went for an hour-long trail run. It was 85 degrees out, but almost all of this run was in the shade, and it was quite lovely, particularly the part where I ran across a stream. I came home and went in the backyard pool, solo. This was a real treat to simply relax and not have to hold anyone, referee fights, or keep anyone from drowning.

After a nice, long shower, I made myself lunch (Ok, just heated up the Wegman’s cod with red pepper sauce and veggie spaghetti), and did some fiction free-writing. I’m working on a new project and have set myself a relaxed goal of 1000 words a week. I got that in by 2:30. Then I drove over to the King of Prussia mall to go shopping – something I haven’t done in a year. I bought two speaking/TV dresses (solid color sheaths, always) and a pair of nude heels that I keep trying on because I love them so much. When I’m by myself and not racing to get done, it turns out shopping is pretty fun!

Everyone was there when I arrived at 4:30, so thus ended my weekend me time, but the evening went pretty well. We went back in the pool, had family dinner, and got everyone bathed by the time my husband departed for his next day obligation at 8 pm.

How would you spend 6 kid-free weekend hours?

In other news: My essay, “How to make time slow down,” ran at City Journal this weekend.

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