Quantcast

The un-holiday

By Amanda Marcotte
Saturday, November 29, 2008 2:21 EDT
google plus icon
 
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

Marc and I were planning to go visit his mother for Thanksgiving, but alas, there was a mix-up where she didn’t realize we were coming and we didn’t realize she was flying to Seattle until it was too late. So we stayed home and had an un-holiday, which is something I love. Or call it a stay-cation, as someone on Twitter did. Holiday breaks are, unless you’re a government employee, usually too short and completely dominated by family obligations and other hustle and bustle. All in all, holidays are not a sufficient break from the everyday for most people, but another round of responsibilities, and perversely a quadrupling of American vices of overconsumption and sloth. And even Americans who have proper vacations—which are few, since most people’s lean vacation time is eaten up by family obligations if they get it at all—tend to be unable to break the cycle, and spend their vacations over-eating, sitting around, and doing lots of tourist-y shit that’s emotionally unsatisfying but does produce photographs to prove you did it, not that anyone cares. It’s depressing.

I recommend a stay-cation, if you can get one. And use it to spend time to sides of yourself that you neglect. I realized too late yesterday that I could spend this time reorganizing my music collection, but once I started, I was in bliss. Being a typical American, I couldn’t get away from all my habits, and I read blogs idly while I was actually listening to music that needed to be judged (on or off iTunes), labeled, and sorted, but on the whole, I spent the time doing a lot less reading that I usually do and spent a lot more time listening to music. The book I did read some was Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, so I was still on-message. And even though I’ve probably only just sunk the first shovel into what will be a giant process of getting my iTunes where it needs to be, I feel good that I’ve started. And now I have a system, so it should go faster.

I don’t have much else to say on this but to praise the un-holiday as a way to really use time off to improve your life, instead of watch it slip out of your fingers. You feel more reset, more rested, more ready to take on the world. I wish I remembered that more often, actually. Probably in the spring when the major project that can’t be put off—planting my garden—presents itself.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
 
Google+