Is it a staycation when one is spending their holiday in their hometown?
I am on vacation and I am home, but it’s not really where I usually live. Therefore I am not sure how exactly to name my summer vacation this year. At the same time, I am not sure it matters. What’s important is that I am having a good time.
First of all, the one and only thing I want to do in this vacation is whatever I want – very mature, I know. But I’ve dedicated quite some time to scheduled activities and I just want to relax a little. So this plan includes coffee, reading, taking long walks and spending time with family and friends.
I know people think teachers have many vacation days and we officially do, but many of us use the time to actually work on research and writing. It’s mostly about taking time off administrative tasks, meetings, reading and evaluating students’ work and focusing more on our own ideas, planning courses, books, drafting articles, collecting and analysing data and the sorts.
At the moment I am reading the letters Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt sent to each other – I linked the Romanian translation on Libris.ro, which have discounts this weekend. Regarding the content of the book, I felt some consolation in the manner Martin Heidegger describes his work in the 1920s’. It’s the struggle to meet all the teaching and administrative requirements, while wanting to dedicate time to develop ideas and, I am adding this, do research.
I am adding that the solitude implied in this work is also difficult. Although in social science there is also team work, all the reading, writing and thinking are activities which require detachment from others and [some form] of solitude.
Entering this state of solitude is quite difficult to train, especially when one juggles more projects. But it’s trainable and can become a habit. It is also based on eliminating distractions and learning to maintain attention to one thing only for a longer period of time. It becomes better with time, when results start to be visible.
Despite having plans derailed, which includes missing the wedding party of one of my closest friends, because of a covid positive test, I am hopeful concerning what the next few weeks will bring. At its worse, there will be some longer days in bed and, at its finest, some more days spent inside, advancing on personal projects.
Make today count!