Household, Productivity

A vacation day to….work?? And a little bit about “priorities!”

Yesterday I took a vacation day with the intention to work all day. Wait, what?? Yep, that’s right. I took a vacation day from my paid job to work for free at my house all day. 😊

Do you ever do this? I do this fairly regularly- at least a couple times per year probably. Things pile up at home that I want/ need to take care of and this always just feels like a sensible option that allows me to “catch up” on life a little bit without completely forgoing my weekends/evenings.

My preference is normally to take these days during the school year when Ivan is at work and the kids are at school and I can just do stuff all day with no interruptions. Obviously that wasn’t an option this time…. I am also curious if men do this. I can say confidently that I don’t believe Ivan has ever taken a vacation day to organize closets at our house or anything of the sort, at least not in our nearly 13 years of marriage.
Lunch break outside with the boys 🙂
But anyway, I took one of these fun-filled vacation days yesterday, because I guess I must just enjoy clean closets more than he does.  😊 I had a list in my planner of like 20 “project-y” things I’d like to get done around the house. I sat with it yesterday morning and my tea, trying to make a little game plan for the next couple of days off of work.

I thought back to one of 5 am Joel’s emails from last week, talking about “priority vs priorities”. Now, I have already been trying to narrow my to-do list lately, since I already knew that trying to do too much is a recipe for basically getting nothing done (see my previous post about “Today’s 3 Things”).

But he argues that we should consider taking it down to ONE priority, and that in fact, the true meaning of “priority” is the one top thing you will do FIRST.

In his message he shared that the word “priorities” is a recently created, diluted word that has evolved over time to just mean “important stuff”. I love languages, and as I have thought more about this this week, I realized he’s totally right. The breakdown of the roots of the word “priority” from Latin would really mean “prior” or “earlier”, “first” or “precedence”.

 So a priorityneeds to be the FIRST thing you do, not just an important thing among many others. Many of us tend to make our list of “priorities”, but how can we truly have multiple things that we will do first?? Very interesting!

So, I sat on my deck and thought- what will be my priorityfor today?? What is the one thing I will do first, above all else? That was where I wanted to focus all of my energy.

I perused my long, long list and decided to circle “Organize and re-arrange winter/ summer clothes”. This spoke to me as a priority because, well, all of my summer clothes were currently in the basement packed away, except for 1 pair of sandals, a pair of jean shorts and a couple of tank tops. (Guess what I’d been wearing all week?? On the other hand, this system of having precisely 2 clothing options available for these 85 degree temperatures had made getting dressed very easy.) 😊

This item may sound silly to be my priority, but it actually always takes quite a while to do this, and like I said, summer is definitely HERE, though my available wardrobe hadn’t received the memo. I also always use this task as a chance to weed out clothes that I don’t want anymore, vacuum out the closet, re-arrange everything, clean out my drawers, etc. It’s amazing how wonderful and refreshing my entire bedroom feels with this task accomplished.

Later in the afternoon, with my priority complete, I was able to move on to a new priority- Ethan’s closet!! Before this, it looked like a bomb went off. I should have taken a before pic. This is the after:

I also had time to cook up some chipotle chicken tinga for tostadas for dinner, as well as some roasted sweet potato and cauliflower.

It’s funny how much stuff you can get done in a day if you don’t also need to sit at a desk doing “work” work for 8 hours! Weird! Who knew 😉 

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for the feeling of accomplishment after getting a bunch of stuff done yesterday. Focusing on my priority, completing it and then focusing on a new priority felt so good. I’m grateful to Mom for entertaining the boys in the morning while I worked on my closet, her help with several other projects around the house and also just her company on my day off too! 

4 thoughts on “A vacation day to….work?? And a little bit about “priorities!””

  1. really good idea on focus on one thing and feel accomplished. I usually have few things in my list for the day, most of them quick to do and one thing that I don't know how long it will take.I've never taken a vacation day to do house work as I usually take care of them during work days, and on my friday offs. Now that I have help at home, most of things that need to be done as chores are taken care of, i'm deeply grateful, it really allows me to focus on what it's important to me and what nobody else can do.


  2. I definitely do this, too, especially since having our son. We don't really have a lot of time to work on projects over the weekend since caring for Paul is a full time job – I know that will change when he's older and doesn't require constant supervision, though! But I will often take a 'staycation' and work on projects that need more time than I have on the weekend. I took a half day yesterday and went to "once upon a child" to pick up some summer clothes for Paul and ran another errand after that. I could have done that on a weekend but it's harder to fit things like that in on the weekend. I did have a relaxing 2nd half of my day off so it was a nice combo. My husband would never take time off to organize closets. Lol. But he did take a number of days off to work on the deck so he is willing to do that but it has to be a very specific task like 'build a deck'. He is the kind of person who doesn't take all of his vacation days because he figures if we aren't going anywhere/doing something fun, he might as well be at work. Whereas I typically take every single vacation day. I won't this year because it's weird to take vacation time when there is nothing to do/nowhere to go (and I can only do so many projects around our house…)


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