The holiday season is still in full swing in our nest and we are feeling quite festive. The kids are enjoying their Christmas gifts and playing all over the house. My mother-in-law is off childcare and cooking duty. Hubby and I are enjoying more time together and a slight break from our work responsibilities.
The winter break is always interesting for me when it comes to my work life. I’m winding down and gearing up all at the same time. Today I had to take a mini-break from being on break to get some work done. I read some book chapters and research articles in preparation for a training I’m facilitating. My administrative assistant stopped by my house so I could sign a bunch of important paperwork (I know, she’s awesome). I had to make some business calls about upcoming projects and I had to write some not so fun technical reports.
All the while I was doing this, hubby and my daughter were working on a science fair project, my son was playing with trains, and my mother-in-law had been working on her New Year letter. The house was bubbling over with creativity and I was sorta missing it.
Now, I’m not saying I was dreading doing my work; this is not the case at all. I enjoy my job, feel fortunate to have a flexible work schedule, and I’m able to immediately see some of the societal benefits my work produces. What I was dreading was mentally going all the way back into work mode and not being able to easily fall back into vacation mode with the rest of the family.
At one point, I looked at hubby and said, “I have two more hours of work to do and then you’ve gotta drag me back into vacation land.”
He looked at me very seriously and said, “Well I guess you better bake something.”
Yup, that’s what I needed to do, bake something. I wanted to use the mini cheesecake pan I received for Christmas, but I did not have all of the ingredients on hand. The next item that came to mind was French Madeleines.
Yes, this would be a perfect and easy treat to bake-up and to put me back in my vacation state of mind. But, uh oh, we only had one egg in the house and I needed three. What do to?
Text my mother-in-law.
She happened to be out and about – and she responded quickly to the egg request.
The recipe for the French Madeleines required sifting, and I have to admit, I do enjoy sifting. Yes, that’s a bit random. Every time I’m sifting dry ingredients for a recipe, I have fond memories of spending summer vacations on my maternal grandparents’ farm. My grandmother made most everything from scratch and she would let me sift ingredients, while we cooked together, and she told me family stories. This recipe was easily shifting me right back into vacation mode.
In no time at all, I baked up 54 madeleines. My daughter took some madeleines downstairs to share with my mother-in-law, and hubby corralled the four of us so we could head off to the botanic gardens. (My mother-in-law needed some quiet time in the house and a break from the kids playing Wii on top of her head.)
Of course we took some madeleines with us and we enjoyed them with our hot cocoa and café mocha when we took a break from enjoying the festive night at the gardens. (The three-year-old decided he needed to have a popsicle.)
What types of things do you do to decompress from work and go (or stay) into vacation mode?