Vacationing is a little different in 2020. I guess that’s to be expected. We are in the middle of a pandemic.

Hang on, I need to say that again, because some people don’t get it. We are in the middle of a pandemic. COVID-19 cases are rising. Do your part and wear a mask. Also, and I didn’t think I’d have to say this nine months into a pandemic, a mask covers your mouth and nose. Mouth. And. Nose.

Back to my point now. While I expected a vacation to be different this year, I was unaware the word vacation had morphed to mean “another type of work.” Just another gift from 2020, I guess.

Flash back a couple of weeks ago. My boss told me to make sure I use whatever leave I have. I don’t normally take vacations. At the last place I worked, I had an unlimited vacation policy. The catch was you simply never had time to take a vacation, but you were “encouraged” to take all the vacation you could.

I think Anna and I have only been on one vacation in the past five years that didn’t double as a business trip.

I put in for a week off, told Anna I’d be off work and started making plans for my staycation.

Unbeknownst to me, Anna also started making plans for my staycation.

I woke up on the Friday before my vacation started and saw a note waiting for me on the dining-room table.

I knew what it was. I know some couples leave cute little notes for their significant others, but that’s not how our relationship works.

Anna leaves me to-do lists. The girl loves lists.

It was titled things you “can” do while you’re on vacation. I added the quotes to the word can, because we all know what the title really meant was things you will do or else.

It was a long list. It had some things to clean, things to fix and things to do.

It was about 15-times larger than the list I had made.

If your curious, here’s my list of things to do while enjoying my staycation:


To be clear, because nothing can be a little vague, my plan was to literally sit on my front porch and do nothing but stare at the trees blowing in the wind.

And, here’s why: I needed it.

This year has been exhausting. I’ve buried multiple family members. I’ve had to adapt and innovate the way I do things because of COVID-19. And, there’s the added stressor that the constant threat of catching a virus adds to your psyche.

So, I treated the list like I do most things I have to do. I started at the deadline and worked my way backward. The way I figured it, I could do nothing for four days and then do a marathon on day five and get everything done.

And since I was well-rested, I actually met a deadline.

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