This week and next, I am on vacation! Well…staycation, which is like vacation, only a lot less expensive. People in the church often ask me, when they hear I’ll be on vacation, where I’m going. My staycation answer is usually, “Nowhere… very slowly.” That’s the goal of staycation. My normal work week is go, go, go! My commute to the church office is 14 miles, yet I drive about 500 miles a week! So for two weeks, I want to stay, stay, stay! So, as I enjoy a slow cup of coffee this morning, I thought I’d share what a staycation looks like for me.
- No alarm clocks (usually.) This first week of staycation, my wife has to work four days. We have one car. So, I get up and take her to work. On staycation, this is fine! I love spending the time with her in the morning and have no problem going right back to sleep when I get home. I feel free to take all the sleep my body wants and needs.
- I do not answer the phone. OK, I’ll answer if it’s my wife, my kids, or my parents calling. There are a few select others I’ll answer for, but everyone else is going to get the voicemail. Most people are pretty good about not calling me on vacation now. It took some time and training, but I think they’ve got it. I’m still pretty well plugged in, so I’m not the “turn the phone off and stick it in a drawer for two weeks” type. However, I answer text messages at my leisure, if at all. I’ll peruse emails every couple of days. I’ll look at social media once a day. (Note: I’ll give about 30 seconds of my time to scrolling on Facebook. Other than that, I only look at my notifications. So, if you want me to see it, you better tag me.) I spend most of my social media time on Twitter because I like the quick bites of news and other insights on not-so news.
- I spend extended times with the Lord. Without the demands of schedule in the way, I have plenty of time to sit with the Lord. Beyond my regular quiet time, I allow Him to direct my thoughts through His word. I spend time in prayer and conversation over things that have been on my heart. Coffee, jazz, and Jesus make for a wonderful morning, afternoon, or evening on staycation.
- I don’t think about sermon stuff. This one is tough, and I have to remind myself not to do it. Typically, I do sermon prep work on Tuesdays. However, my mind is working on sermon preparation all the time. Throughout the day, I’m always thinking about the upcoming sermon. Things like how to word certain statements, how to illustrate this point or that, searching my memories for the story that relates best, and on the lookout for practical applications in my everyday life. On staycation, I try my best to turn that off, giving my mind a break.
- I read for fun. I love to read and staycation is the best time to read for my own entertainment. I read comic books, other blogs, and books that are just fun and easy.
- I spend a lot of time in front of screens. In my normal week, I don’t have much time to watch TV or play video games. Occasionally, I’ll get out to a movie. But during staycation, I take time to play games and catch up on shows I’ve heard everyone talking about for months, and the matinee show at the movie theater is my playground. Those that know me well, know that I’ve always been more of an indoors person than an outdoors person. You can keep all that hiking and fishing, etc. Give me a bucket of popcorn, a cold drink, and a day at the movies!
That’s the typical staycation for me. This week has been a bit of an exception from the norm. Some poor planning on my part means that the first day of my staycation coincided with the first day of the new semester of seminary. I have three online classes that I’m taking. Seminary doesn’t care about my staycation. So, there has been plenty of not-so-fun reading and sitting in front of a screen for learning purposes. But, I don’t have to get dressed to go to school! I’ll make the best of it!