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Compliments of Sean MacEntee via Flickr

Today I find myself with another fully scheduled day of events (during spring break). I think people become stressed when they think of vacations as a complete shutdown of activity, instead of as a break in their normal routine. In the spirit of stay-cation (and a determination to complete a myriad of personal tasks that had piled up) I interlaced outings over a period of days with a much needed “to do” list.

This week I combined “fun things” (those I’d wanted to do but never formally scheduled) with mundane chores to achieve the perfect balance – steady progress toward my goals in a manner that doesn’t exhaust me. Below is my schedule in a nutshell:


  • Monday Drop off my taxes, mail medical reimbursement, take Prince Charlie to get his annual shots, and register both pets onHomeAgain.com”  [note: the last activity necessitated taking more “glamour shots” of my two furry children].

Prince Charlie and LuLu

  •  Tuesdaytake family to the Medical Center for routine testing, and eat in the historic downtown square at my favorite Italian restaurantMarina’s. Take a day exploring new stores, and give a fresh look to ones I hadn’t seen in years. Drop off a stained glass lamp for repair, and purchase an overhead portrait light (all within walking distance).
  • WednesdayDrive to Hillsboro Village via Belmont Blvd, tour the campus, and eat at Sunset Grill (I’ll let you know if I see any “stars!”). Next stop – The Mall at Green Hills, where I’ve made a list of things to purchase at the Container Store: label maker, diamond organizer, plastic storage box, photograph storage box, and garment bags).  On to Williams Sonoma for a lemon zester, and to Whole Foods for some staples. Would it be wrong if I stopped at the bakery?
  • Thursday sell “never used” formal wear to consignment store, eat at the Cedar Bucket (in the same strip center) and spend the afternoon moving my spring clothing from the upstairs to the downstairs closet.
  • Fridayget an estimate on car repair, and eat at Cheddar’s in Smyrna (rumored to have great catfish).
  • Saturdaycheck out a pair of pearl earrings in Franklin, and eat at my fav restaurant – The Boxwood Bistro.


Scheduling chores over a period of time doesn’t make them seem as onerous as trying to cram everything into one day. I’ve even found that I enjoy being a tourist in my own town. Keeping up with e-mail throughout the week (so that I’m not overwhelmed at the end of an “unplugged” vacation), and doing those things in my own backyard that I typically reserve for an out of town guest kill two birds with one stone. With gas prices rising, local exploring may take on an entirely new cache.

I like the feeling of taking care of business while having fun along the way. Instead of “going somewhere,” why not save yourself the hassle and do all of those things in your town about which other people rave?

Related posts: Take advantage of what’s in your vicinity

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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