So you got a day off. Good for you! What are you going to do with your time? Waste in in front of the television? Surf the internet for hours? Catch up on your beauty sleep? Or do you want to do something more? Here are a few ideas of what you could do on your next day off:
Clean up –
I know that cleaning does not sound like much of a day off, but it is often something we put off until we have the t8ime. Well, now you have the time. On my last day off I decided I was going to clean out a large closet in my home that was mostly used for storage. We had not touched anything in there for almost five years so I figured it was time to let go of the junk. Upon entering the closet I was greeted with piles of stuff from way back. I ended up taking two car loads of bagged clothes, pillows, toys and other items to the Goodwill that day. I also found some old photographs that needed to be put somewhere safe and made room in the closet for some other memorabilia that needed to be kept. While I was digging around I also found a box of old comic books from the fifties and sixties that belonged to my uncle when he was young. From Superman to Archie, these comics were a virtual goldmine and I look forward to finding out what I can sell them for. So the next time you think a bit of deep cleaning isn’t worth it just remember that you could run across something valuable, or at least something you had misplaced for a while.
Go shopping –
I know that not all of us like to go shopping, for food or clothes or anything else, but it can be fun. If you find something you are interested in shopping can be an exhilarating experience. From comic books to the latest style and even antiques and collectibles shopping can be a fun way to spend a day. That does not mean you have to spend a lot of money. I love to go to antique stores just to see what cool old things they have. Once in a while I will pick up a decoration or gift that seems to be a good price. Shopping for Christmas or birthdays can be done any time of the year. A leisurely shopping trip can be just the right time to pick up that sale item at rock bottom prices.
Make dinner –
Cooking is something I love to do but I never really get the chance to enjoy it. Most of the time I am scrambling to make up a meal before my family gets home or, even worse, when they are whining about how hungry they are. I like to make more than just the simple day to day fare on my days off. Special desserts and meals are fun to prepare even if they take a while. My partner makes a killer cream brulee that takes quite a while to make, and I love to make gourmet meals that require exotic ingredients and lots and lots of spices. Whatever your taste is in cooking you can take the day to make whatever you want, no matter how complex it is. Or you can save time the rest of your week by making meals in advance and then freezing them. Not as fun, no, but more practical.
Go for a drive –
My grandmother was forever taking my siblings and I for long drives during the summer. She loved to get out and look at new things. Around the holidays you can drive around and look at the lights. The rest of the year it is fun to drive off to the countryside and look at the horses and cows. Or, if you are not a city dweller, you can go into town and look at the skyscrapers and fountains. Sometimes getting lost is half the fun. You go down back roads and run across tiny restaurants that serve the best food, or little shops with exotic goods, or even festivals you never knew existed. I one ran across a bluebonnet festival by mistake. The hills were covered with the bright blue flowers and all kinds of people lined the streets to take pictures, eat at the food stands and just enjoy the countryside. If you live near the beach a drive along the seashore is always a treat and just parking and watching the ocean roll in is a relaxing way to spend a few hours.
Visit a park –
Speaking of beaches, there are lots of ways to enjoy the outdoors on your day off. I am a big nature person so I get outside as much as possible when I am not working. It is hard to enjoy nature when you are stuck in the big city, but there are still ways. Most cities have small local parks that bring nature to you. You can have a picnic, do a little fishing in the pond- catch and release of course – and even climb around on the playground if you would like. Personally I still love the swing sets and slides. If you have a little more adventure in mind then drive out of the city and to your local state or national park. With wide swaths of forest and big lakes or rivers, or even oceans, parks offer the safety you want with the nature and relaxation you need. For just a few bucks or even for free you can enjoy a day at the park. Fire up a barbeque, take a swim, float the river, get a suntan, go bird watching, see new animals, or even go for a hike. It is all up to you. In a park near my home town there is a huge granite boulder that people often climb for fun. One side is steep but the other is not so bad. For inexperienced climbers like me it takes a few hours to reach the top, but once you are there the view is spectacular. Not far from there is a series of waterfalls. These falls are fed by an underground spring so no matter how hot it gets, and it gets hot, the water is always icy cold. Portions of the falls have worn down to the point that you can slide down them like a water park. It wears out your jean shorts but it is a lot of fun.
Learn something new –
I know what you are thinking. I am on my day off, why do I want to learn anything? Well, learning can be fun! Visit a museum and spend hours just looking at the displays. Go to the arboretum and learn more about your local plants and wildlife. Take an art class or dance class or cooking class. You can even do what my grandmother used to embarrass us as children doing: go into buildings randomly and ask them what they do. Haven’t you ever wondered what that unmarked business did? How many buildings do you pass every day that you know nothing about? It seems funny, but people are usually more than happy to tell you all about what they do. It is a great way to learn what is around your town that you never even knew existed. My grandmother once did that and found out there was an entire river built into a huge hotel. Us kids got to feed the fish and walk over the river on glass sidewalks. We had a blast! She also uncovered a historic area in the heart of our city that showcased log cabins and all kinds of cool old stuff. We walked between the skyscrapers and into the past. Even tiny ghost towns and free boat rides were uncovered by Grandma’s persistent curiosity and willingness to ask.
When you have a day off do not waste it doing what you do when you are at work. Instead do something new. Be productive, be curious, beadventurous. Get out there and live life and enjoy your day off.
This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for www.4nannies.com. She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. She can be reached via email at: christine.4nannies @ gmail.com.