Reflections on the Willamette River photo: jparadisi

I am on staycation this week. It means I scheduled a week off from the oncology infusion clinic, and spending the time here in Portland, where I live.

I admire nurse colleagues their ability to schedule travel vacations months in advance. They bring brochures of exotic places like Machu Picchu, Sidney, Tuscany, Spain, etc. to work, having booked cool hotels and fabulous dinner reservations. One coworker planned an extensive road trip, driving solo, through national parks. Besides being courageous, she has a sense of humor: she purchased an “inflatable man” to occupy the passenger seat of her car during the trip. Then she gave “Joe” away as a white elephant gift at our staff Christmas party. Better than a gnome.

My staycation reflects a lack of planning on my part. A few days after Christmas, I realized my mind wandered when I listened to small talk, the small talk my patients generate adapting to their role, connecting with me, making the experience pleasant for all of us. My sudden inability to concentrate on more than actual patient care signaled to me I let too much time lapse between vacations. There wasn’t enough time to coordinate David’s work schedule with mine, nevertheless, I needed a midwinter break sooner than later. Our scheduler received my request for vacation time that week.

So, how am I spending the time off? I booked a fallback Pedi Mani, then met a girlfriend for Happy Hour at a new tapas bar the first day. Over the weekend, David booked a two-night stay for us at a hotel on the Willamette River. The off-season rates were great. We saw the French film Le Havre, leisurely dined at restaurants we’ve only talked about, and slept in. I’ve booked a spa day for myself, complete with green tea service, and lunch later this week.

After that, who cares?