This morning finds my kitchen quite a mess from last night's baking. I have to take a good half hour to empty the dishwasher and load it up again, and put everything away only to take it all out again and bake later. What was this about a week "end"? It seems I go from one mode of productivity into another. Not that I am complaining, I love to bake, but I have to create time for it. In order to fit in everything I want to do, or like to do, it means doing those things and then baking around them, or not doing those things (like going to dinner and the movies with my sister-in-law Carolyn the other night - wouldn't miss it). I won't give up the social aspects of my life, so it all gets fit in, somehow. It has been one of those weeks. And this weekend I thought I was free, for at least a day or two, from cluttered hours and too much to do, but that is not the case. The weekend is becoming overcrowded just as it takes off. It began with a lot of baking last night, until 2 a.m. (one happy task - making a cake for my friend Alison's daughter, Katie).
It's no wonder that I love to go away, probably more than anyone else I know. When I go away, I leave behind not only my daily life, but also all the things I try to fit in around it. A vacation, for me, is truly vacating not only a place but also all the demands that fill up the space of my life. I fantasize about time. Not so much about particular places or sights to see (though a beach will always call my name); more, it's about the luxury of free time, with nothing in particular to do, no chore looming, no schedule to dictate my every move. I once went away for a week, all alone, to Myrtle Beach. One of my sisters had indicated she'd like to go, but couldn't at the last minute, and I decided to take the trip by myself. I have to tell you, it was one of the very best weeks of my life. I took a shuttle from the airport and didn't rent a car. It dropped me off at a humble Best Western in quiet North Myrtle Beach. This was before I had a cell phone, so there wasn't much communicating, but that was OK; in fact, it was necessary. I got up every morning for a continental breakfast in the hotel's lobby. Days were unfilled with nothing in particular, just enjoying the surroundings, reading good books, and walks along the beach. I found anything I needed at a little grocery mart across the street. There were take-out lunches from restaurants along the shore, and casual dinners sitting at the bar of a sea-side restaurant, enjoying a quiet meal conversing with the bartender. It was a week of beautiful sun rising and setting, and in that solitude I found I can be very good company for myself. There was no lonliness, just peace.
As much as I enjoy vacationing with the people I love, sometimes I crave time alone to refresh my perpective on life. I look forward to going away like that again, one day. I recommend this kind of vacation at least once in your life.