Mama, this holiday school break, do 14 things for YOU – #vacationfromvacation

December 23, 2013

Hey Mamas,

Holiday vacation. Such joy and such strife, all at once! All the hours strung together like the lights, with bickering and whining and impatience and over-tired and over-sugared kids. Oh but then there’s the joy in their faces! At the mention of all the days off of school or a play date or another gift to open or treat to eat. Bliss. And the cozy under-the-blankets time together, the lack of the need for setting an alarm….Oh, and long mornings and afternoons in your pajamas while all the fighting and “I’m boreds” are going on. Such a mix of fun and not-fun.

(I really hope those of you who work outside the home are getting some days at home, some days off, of that work.) (And those of you who stay at home with littles who aren’t in school outside of home, this is totally for you as well!)

Vacations from school can be exhausting for the Mamas and this time of year, there’s all the cleaning up and putting away and cookies to eat. Who has time? So! Let’s remember to take a moment or two for ourselves, together!


Your assignment, should you accept it, is listed here:

TODAY, December 23rdMake up your mind to do each of these simple things, each day, until they go back to school. (See below)


Tuesday, December 24th – Christmas Eve – Take and post a selfie after getting in just the right light and put all the makeup on, if you’d like. Wear red lipstick. or pink. Or none. Wear your hair down. Or up. Go NUTS! Smile. Or don’t. Just LOVE that picture. Take it over and over until you love it. Let yourself LOVE it. Then post it. #vacationfromvacation On Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or wherever you’d like. Next all you have to do is sit back and accept the compliments, openly.

Here is our inspiration for this one, my friend Amy Turn-Sharp:


Wednesday, December 25th – Christmas Day – Tell a story of your life. A good story. One from long ago, that you haven’t told all the people you spend Christmas Day with…Like this, “This one time, when I was on a trip to….” Or, “I guess I could have died the time I….” Or, “Did I ever tell you about my very first job and the stuff that happened there?” These are YOUR stories. People want to hear them. They’re beautiful and they make up a life. YOURS.


Thursday, December 26thLet them eat All The Sugar with NO GUILT. – Don’t feel bad about it. There are so many leftovers and so many blessed gifts received that are made of sugar. It’s there. They will beg for it. Say yes. No guilt. This too shall pass.


Friday, December 27th – Get a night out with a good friend on the calendar. Have you seen a good movie lately? There are some good ones coming out? Where do you love to eat? Go there. Call up that friend, or text her, ask her out. Put it in your calendar for sometime during this next week and a half.


Saturday, December 28thGet yourself something FUN to read. Just one book. Off your shelf, on your reader, from the bookstore…Choose just one must-read page-turner, for you. Ask friends for recommendations of something riveting and entertaining that you won’t be able to put down.


Sunday, December 29thNo house work allowed, only rest. Okay, fine. You can keep the dishes from spilling out of the sink and onto the floor, but that’s IT. No laundry, no picking up…just hang out. And then hang out more. Read that book you got yesterday, have a Netflix marathon. Be cozy and lazy and all the good zzzzz’s. It can wait. Or, ask someone else in your house to do it, if you can’t stand the mess.


Monday, December 30th – Sit down and write a handwritten letter to someone who needs to hear from you. This may sound like work, but it’s not. You are creating, and that fills you up. You are blessing someone with fun mail and that feels GOOD. Tell them something that happened, recently, in detail. Be funny, or don’t. Make it poignant. Or don’t. Just write, in the same way you used to talk with them, for hours, before the Internet.


Tuesday, December 31stLet them stay up late. Don’t feel bad about it. No guilt. It doesn’t have to be midnight (I go to bed on New Year’s Eve by ten, I’m old). Look up something fun for families in your community and go do it. Or don’t. Stay home and play games and watch movies or TV and eat fun treats. Yes, they’ll be over-tired tomorrow and you’ll wish they weren’t, but…you guessed it…this too shall pass. (bonus idea: if you have a tree, have a slumber party around it, the whole family. I’m not sure I’m up for this until Elsie is a bit older, but I do like the idea!)


Wednesday, January 1st – Happy New Year! Write down 3 things you are grateful for that happened in 2013. Write down 3 things you hope for in 2014. Make these things about YOUyour work or your dreams, your creativity, your passions, your body, your lifestyle, your spirituality….you get the idea.


Thursday, January 2ndGo for a good part of the day with no attachment to technology. No really, don’t look at your phone unless it rings (someone would call if it’s an emergency, right?) Don’t get online to check facebook or twitter or browse the web. Trust me, this feels good! It’s for you. Go for a walk (if it’s not totally freezing where you are), take a nap, take a long shower, watch a movie, make something yummy, knit, paint…You don’t have to do it all day, maybe just the morning or just the evening. It’s up to you.


Friday, January 3rdMake an appointment to pamper yourself soon. To get your hair did! Or a pedicure! Or a massage! Whatever you choose, make it something pamper-y, just for you. If you don’t have a lot of money for such things, especially after the holidays, look for deals on RetailMeNot or Groupon or similar discount sites. You can get great deals that way sometimes.


Saturday, January 4thSkip part of your daily routine that drains you. Are you the dinner-maker? Order in! (Or go out or ask someone else to make the food, dammit.) Do you kind of hate showering? Skip it. Do you feel like you’re always picking up all the things? Don’t. Just for today. Skip the thing that drains you most.


Sunday, January 5th – They go back to school tomorrow! Here comes the routine, like it or not. We’ve come full circle, my friends: Take another selfie, but this time, include your kiddos. Get all of you squished together and cheeeese, post it to facebook or Twitter or Instagram or all of them! If you do, please come back here and share the link to your photo in the comments. I want to see you!! #vacationfromvacation


Peace, my friends. Peace.

I’ll be searching the hashtag #vacationfromvacation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’m so excited to see you!


anna whiston-donaldson December 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Love this so much, Heather. Inspiring and hopeful. And how stinking cute is that group selfie? :)
anna whiston-donaldson recently posted..Pushover, Thy Name is Anna

Kim December 24, 2013 at 9:52 pm

You’re so genius. I love you my friend.
Kim recently posted..Happy 11th Birthday!

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