Mike and Carolyn’s stay-catiion

Mike and Carolyn Cohen were set to vacation in the Northeast a couple of weeks back when it was mucked up by Hurricane Irene. First they scrambled, casting about for other locales, then they hit upon the stay-cation idea — to vacation at home.
Here’s how they imagineered it: They decided to pretend their home was a condo they rented . . . with a kitchen. This way, even though they were planning to enjoy this vacation as if they were elsewhere they could decide to buy some goodies and make a meal or two, should they so desire.
They hopscotched around the North Palm Beach area, going on long beach walks, out for meals, enjoying a spa day . . . .
When friends wanted to meet up, they stopped themselves and asked: Did they come along with us on our vacation?
What worked gloriously
  • Mike and Carolyn loved not packing and unpacking
  • They gained two extra days’ vacation time by eliminating travel days
  • Not one ounce of energy-time was spilled fretting over plans
  • Turns out this Florida place is a great place to vacation, even for Floridians.
Evan and Ann’s play-cation
We were so jazzed by Mike and Carolyn’s thought experiment-home vacation when they told us about it upon their return that we’re copy-catting and going on one too — this very week, right now. My first vacation in three years. In fact, I’m writing this on vacation, from balmy South Florida.

Here’s our tweaked version: We’re imagining this as our real life fast-forwarded into the adjacent future.

Yes, we’re playing a bit from home on fun but essential gallery projects that we simply can’t ditch (updating the website, choosing artists for the next season, the work that is truly play) — yet, yet,  here’s where the thrill chills really kick in — in the spirit of sailors on shore leave, or possibly the Amish when on Rumspringa*, we’re letting loose:

  • While our son is working hard at third grade, we’re slouching about the house as if we’re naturalists with a contempt for all clothing.
  • We’re reading like Russians in winter.
  • Ann doesn’t know this yet, but we’ll be playing new games: Pan chases the water nymph!
  • We’re auditioning some TV at night — yay — that goliath screen sits dark and alone in real life.
  • We’re whispering about going to a movie tomorrow in the middle of the day (!). Oh yes, we know how to debauch.
  • We’re writing (me), we’re painting (her), we’re laughing at plans. Ha ha ha.

Essentially we’re practicing the life we’re working toward. This play-cation is one way of living it now. Of feeling the essence of that life now.

Our play-cation mimics the Paul Myers/Chris Guillebeau concept of living your ideal day.  You imagine it in detail and immediately begin to add what you can of that ideal day into how you live your days now. In this way you create momentum toward fully living it in the (near) future. 

Enough of this, quick, off with you! I’m must play-cate now–


* A quick reference to Rumspringa lifted from The Washington Times in a review by Roger K. Miller.

“Rumspringa” is the period during which the Amish allow their children, 16 and older, to doff their modest traditional clothing and religious strictures and taste the temptations of the outside world before deciding whether to become baptized and join the church for life. Some teens go the route of fairly sedate adventures, but others engage in wild parties and dangerous behavior complete with, as Tom Shachtman says, “sex, drugs and rapid transport.”

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