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A Flurry of Activity
October 4th, 2010

I love my weekends with GAP.  They take on all sorts of flavors.  There is the household-projects weekend wherein we tackle various and sundry tasks in a whirlwind of productivity.  There is the lazy-on-the-couchweekend wherein we watch football, movies, and Tivo’d episodes of Tosh.0.  There is the our-dance-card-is-fullweekend wherein we have an assortment of plans (and were able to find a sitter) and flit about the town being social butterflies.  There is the obligatory I-have-to-get-some-work-done weekend of telecommuting.  And finally there is the last variety of weekend when one of us flies solo because the other one is out of town; the I’m-on-my-own-and-loving-it weekend.

GAP and I both not-so-secretly love the solo weekend.  There is something utterly luxurious about having the house to yourself.  No negotiating over dinner plans, household chores, or what to watch on TV.  No waiting for the other person to be ready before you can leave the house.  No sacrificing your own intentions for the weekend because they don’t coincide with his/hers.  I don’t mean to confuse the issue – there are drawbacks.  No snuggling on the couch.  No shared experiences.  No intense conversation or inside jokes.  Nevertheless, a weekend to yourself and with your own agenda is, from time to time, an absolute gift.  

This past weekend was one such gift as GAP was out of town for a friend’s bachelor party.  (I will pause here to clarify that I was more spoiled by these weekends alone pre-kids.  There was another little person in the house with me this weekend, but as long as there are graham crackers nearby he’s pretty much up for anything.)  And with a weekend to myself on the horizon I made a long list of plans.  Not lunch dates or spa outings, but a collection of things I wanted to get done!  My list included:

Walk dogs (twice/day)
Bathe dogs
Go to gym
Get hair cut
Touch up paint on bedroom walls
Brush dogs (they shed a lot after a bath)
Catch up on laundry (approx 5 loads)
Hang family photos
Go to church
Go to grocery store
Volunteer at the hospital
Go for a run
Sweep/vacuum as needed (based on immense quantities of shedding)

As I entered the weekend I was a little bit skeptical that I’d piled too many things onto the list.  (In the interest of full disclosure I did have to get a sitter for the haircut and the volunteering.)  But as the weekend drew to a close I was amazed and delighted to have gotten it all done.  I was actually quite proud of myself.  Even amidst such a flurry of activity I had some wonderful times with Isaac.  He loves to “help” with projects, of which we had many.  And we read extra books before bed each night because I thought he deserved some spoiling too. 

With the weekend now behind me I’m rather confident that had GAP been in town I would have been less productive, not more.  There were moments when an extra set of hands might have been helpful, but being on my own this weekend meant that I was free to plow forward at my own pace.  As I reflect back it’s not that having GAP around impedes my productivity; he can be every bit as goal-oriented as I.  It’s just that when we are together (which is much more on weekends than during the week) we want to steal away moments just to be together.  And those moments come at the expense of my to-do list.

We seem to have a decent balance in this department.  We’re each away without the other a small handful of times throughout the year.  We relish in the return to single-dom with its greater autonomy and fewer compromises.  But at the end of the weekend we are happy to be back in the same house and making plans for the following weekend which we’ll spend together. 

I suppose my point here is to remind myself that I am an individual, apart from my husband.  It’s nice to be reminded of that every now and then, and to be forced to engage with it by setting out into a weekend whose path is charted by myself alone.  This particular weekend was one of productivity.  Others are characterized by old black and white movies and extra long pedicures.  Either way, I get to choose.  And that is luxury indeed.

4 Responses to “A Flurry of Activity”

  1. Anne@lifeinpencil.com Says:

    It’s sometimes nice to be reminded of that independence. Reading your weekend list makes me feel very unproductive, though….I’m impressed.

  2. Gale Says:

    Anne – I tend to go in fits and starts. I was very productive this past weekend. And I have every intention of lying completely idle this coming weekend. It balances out in the long run.

  3. Cathy Says:

    There is something to be said for having nothing to do but that which you want to do. I am definitely much more productive when hubby is gone for exactly the reasons you mention – we want to have fun, not do chores when we’re together. And, even when I am unmotivated, I still manage to cross a few things off. Glad you had a good time.

  4. rebecca @ altared spaces Says:

    I am with you, I am far more productive when my husband is away. It does seem backward because 4 hands seems more handy than two, but there’s the idea that the fewer engines in place means only one direction gets determined.

    Like you, when my husband is around, we find ourselves snuggled on the couch deliberating about things – even important things like bills – a lot longer than I would alone. And very few things compare that the luscious taste of a list accomplished.