I woke up this past Saturday morning feeling strange, and it took a few minutes to realize why. Then it hit me: For the first time in recent memory, I didn’t have a manuscript or some other project hanging over my head. I didn’t have company descending on my condo. I didn’t have any conference calls or webinars to attend. I didn’t have favors to do for other people. I didn’t have any appointments, or anywhere I had to be.
It was positively delicious.
An entire day to do anything I pleased. This had to be how Ferris Bueller felt.
8:30 a.m. Roll out of bed (I am not exaggerating) and go to the fridge for something juicy to drink…forget the glass—this is my dang house, after all.
8:45 a.m. Kool-Aid smile intact, I crawl back in bed and turn on the news. Doze on and off for a while, simply because I can.
9:30 a.m. Seriously consider getting up.
9:45 a.m. Okay, I get up.
10:00 a.m. Phone rings…ignore. Turn off ringer.
10:15 a.m. Lie in living room floor and do dust angels on my wood floor. Listen to the sound of my creative solitude.
10:30 a.m. Look at laptop…ignore.
10:45 a.m. Look at carton of healthy yogurt…ignore.
10:50 a.m. Look at box of frozen waffles. Do not ignore.
11:00 a.m. Settle on couch with waffles and see what’s accumulated on my DVR. Watch two episodes of LONGMIRE. Hello, Deputy Branch.
1:00 p.m. Look at phone…4 missed calls, none important enough to return. Look at laptop…wonder how many emails have accumulated. Ignore.
1:10 p.m. My condo doorbell rings. Ignore.
1:15 p.m. Pluck my eyebrows. And a few (premature) gray hairs.
1:30 p.m. Concede I should leave my condo and get some fresh air, work off waffles. Put on my walking clothes, grab my purse and sunglasses and set off for shopping center about 20 blocks away. WHEN did it get so hot? Oh, wait—apparently while I finished writing my latest book, summer happened.
2:00-3:00 p.m. Shop for all the exciting stuff I never have time to shop for: underwear, socks, pajamas, and belts. The shops are crowded. I realize this is what normal people do on weekends instead of being cooped up inside pounding out stories and growing pasty from lack of sunlight.
3:00-4:00 p.m. Have forgotten how long it takes to find a bra that fits; I find one and buy twelve. Plus a stack of socks and three set of pj’s. But it’s the eighteen belts that raise the checker’s eyebrows. I needed belts.
5:00 p.m. Back home and tired from all the shopping and walking. Glance at phone—same 4 people called again, can’t imagine where I might be. Glance at laptop, wonder how many emails have accumulated.
5:30-6:00 p.m. Cut the tags off my new loot and toss everything washable in the washing machine. Hang up my belts. Wonder what I can eat for dinner that will require the least amount of effort. Decide on waffles.
6:00-9:00 p.m. Settle on the couch with waffles and watch three episodes of NORTH AMERICA. Not so much into wild animals, but it’s narrated by Tom Selleck. I am sunk so deep into the couch, I might never emerge.
9:00 p.m. Glance at phone. 2 of the 4 people called again, WHERE am I? Text back all four people that I took the day off, will call them when I come up for air. Immediately my phone vibrates with one of the people calling me to find out WHY I took the day off. Ignore.
9:30 p.m. Glance at laptop, resist the temptation to check emails. Instead, pick up my neglected guitar and carry it outside to sit on the balcony to tune it.
9:45 p.m. Some hipster kid walking by on the street below waves and yells up to me that he loves my life. I yell back, “Thanks, but this isn’t my life!”
10:00 p.m. Glance at laptop, resist the urge to check emails. Nothing could be so important on a weekend, right?
10:30 p.m. Go to bed and lie there listening to the quiet. My mind is racing and I feel antsy about not doing anything particularly productive for an entire day, and being non-communicado besides. It was, however, the perfect day…even though I know I will pay for it tomorrow.
Q: What would you do with a free day just for yourself?