Our Own Personal Sabbath: Vacation Mode

My own personal Sabbath this weekend extends from tonight into next week. It also becomes our own personal Sabbath, as my wife Kim and I are both off work for a week. So, starting tonight, we’re virtually going into hiding, with no notifications, no texts, no email, no news…

…but what we are saying yes to is life and laughter (and getting away and wine) especially in light of what happened last year this coming week. Kim “lost” both her mother and best friend all in the span of one week. It was, and is, as my wife described “the worst week of my life.”

That said, we want to celebrate both of their lives as well as stop and reflect (and being honest here, continuing to grieve) as this is the first year anniversary. To celebrate her best friend, we plan on watching a couple of Star Trek movies with the Rifftrax app, where three guys “riff” on the movies. To celebrate her mom, we plan on watching Mare of Easttown, because my late mother grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania, where the show is set. Kim’s already seen it, but I haven’t yet. To celebrate both of them, we are getting away for a few days next week for a wine trip to the Finger Lakes, which is near where we live.

We also plan on visiting my parents, who also live nearby, and probably will see my sister and her two children, who live a few miles away from my parents.

We are easing into everything by taking it slow this weekend and I plan on ending the week off with a readathon next Saturday.

This week and next Saturday, I plan on continuing to read:

  1. Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting through The Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh, which I’m also listening to on audiobook.
  2. Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld, a collection of his favorite material through the years that I’ve been making my way slowly through since the beginning of February
  3. The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus, a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell
  4. The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.

I also picked up a book especially for vacation at the recommendation of Melissa Firman: Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman. Kim, likewise, selected a book especially for vacation: The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay.

On the fun side, I still have a few Elmore Leonard books I borrowed from the library that I haven’t gotten to and the next in the Serge Storms series by Tim Dorsey that I’ve been making my way slowly through over the last few years.

I’ll leave you with the latest album from Sault:

See you next weekend.

17 thoughts on “Our Own Personal Sabbath: Vacation Mode

  1. Beautiful photo of the lake, wow. I hope you are enjoying your vacation. I’d be curious to know if you end up liking the Seinfeld book … which I hope has some laughs in it. Have a great week.


    1. I’ve been liking the Seinfeld book for the most part. It is spans his entire career and some parts of are better than others, but seeing the jokes on the page, you can see how well crafted they are.


  2. I am glad that you and Kim will enjoy some down time over the next week. I can’t imagine the pain of losing one’s mom and one’s best friend in the same week. How lovely that you will try to do some things in memory of them.
    Do keep us updated on your thoughts about Four Thousand Weeks. I think it was on the podcast On Being that I heard Ross Gay speak. I have been interested for a long while in doing my own version of The Book of Delights.


  3. I think we all need to unplug sometimes, it’s very healthy. Hope you enjoy. I loved the Mare of Easttown last year when I watched it, you’re in for a treat.


  4. What a tough week for you and Kim; I am so glad that you are getting away, taking it easy, seeing family, and relaxing/reflecting. Are you anywhere near Ithaca? If so, I’ll have to get recommendations from you since my daughter will be there doing her PhD at Cornell and we don’t know the area well at all.


    1. Yes, we’re about an hour and a half away. I used to travel there for my old job quite a bit. My favorite features of Ithaca are restaurants of every possible type, lots of vegan options, the wonderful Greenstar Co Op and the beautiful Tompkins County Library. There are two nice used bookstores downtown,too, and a really nice farmer’s market. There are nice parks and trails right in town, the botanical gardens at Cornell, and the nature reserve up outside town. The Museum of the Earth is a little way out of town and that’s pretty cool too.


  5. Oh, your quiet week sounds wonderful! What a touching thing to do also in memory of your lost ones. Your photo up top is really nice also. Not sure if it’s new or I just noticed it. I think I saw that movie and besides Kate Winslet’s in it and she’s got talent. I hope you both come back more relaxed and ready to slip back into your daily lives.


  6. Hugs and love to you and Kim. I know this week will bring great joy but also many other emotions. 💖 Thinking of you both!


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