The Last Five Days & The First Five Things That Fill Them

Today marks my final full week of summer holiday.

Due to a combination of me hoarding my vacation days throughout the year, overtime rolled over from last year, and the fact that my vacation both began and will end with a long weekend, I’ve been able to take off most of the month of August.

I had good intentions to try to maintain my writing schedule over the course of my travels, but – well, we all know what they say about good intentions.

I’ll discuss what I was busy doing while I should have been writing in a future post.  In the meantime, with eight days remaining until I return to work, I’m thinking ahead to three days from now – to the last five days of my vacation, when I leave Ontario and go back home to Vancouver.

I’m no stranger to making to-do lists – particularly over long weekends, and particularly lists that are overly-ambitious.  However, seeing as I’ve spent to the last three weeks living as if on “island time”, and given that I’ll still technically be on vacation, I’ve decided to dramatically moderate my pace.

Five days; five big tasks that are either a result of or neglected from my vacation that I want to get done before I go back to work the day after Labour Day: 

  1. Clean out my clothes closet: Generally, I feel quite justified in accumulating a large wardrobe given that about 95% of it is purchased second-hand, and thus costs me next to nothing.  However, it’s been more than I year since I’ve cleared out any clothes I don’t wear anymore, and I don’t think my closet has room right now for all the new garments I’ve bought while on vacation.
  2. Update my personal budget: Every week, I normally look back over all my expenditures to determine if I’m on budget for that week and month.  Currently, I have three week’s worth of vacation spending that has my wallet near bursting with unaccounted receipts.
  3. Learn about medieval mercenaries: For my next historical fiction novel, I plan to write about medieval mercenaries.  The problem is, I don’t really know much about them yet.  There are two reference books I’ve found on Google Books that each devote an entire chapter to the subject.  I’ve been meaning to read these chapters for over a month now; I even borrowed an iPad from work to read them while I was away in Ontario.  Whether surprisingly or not, it hasn’t happened yet.
  4. Make thank-you cards: While in Ontario, I stayed with friends who provided me with unbelievably hospitality.  At times, I felt like I was at a retreat, and kindness like that mustn’t go unrecognized.  I make a lot of my own greeting cards using my own photos, which are mostly of landscapes.  My cards are rather time-consuming to make, as I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to choosing the best paper and accenting colours.  But it will be well worth the effort for me to offer personalized tokens of my appreciation.
  5. Buy new gym shorts: Admittedly, all my existing gym shorts are functional enough: they all fit – if, some, a little awkwardly –  and they all have pockets for carrying essentials – if too small for my old school iPod Nano in all but one pair.  Plus, they didn’t cost upwards of $60.  However, it would be nice to have at least one really great pair of shorts that has all the features I want.  For Heaven knows, after three weeks of living it up on vacation with no exercise more strenuous than bringing a fork or wineglass to my mouth, I’ll soon be suffering enough in the gym to make what little bit of comfort I can find well worth it!


  • Go back to the gym: As per #5, I’ve heard that one loses up to 5% muscle tone per week when s/he stops exercising.  Regaining my lost 14.26% will be challenging enough without commencing at the same time I return to work.
  • Write: Obviously!

(Image source)

4 thoughts on “The Last Five Days & The First Five Things That Fill Them

  1. Based on your post title, I thought you knew something about a looming apocalypse that I did not. Fortunately, your reference point was a bit more routine than that. I do think it was unnecessary to let us know you were seeking information about medieval mercenaries. That goes without saying, doesn’t it?


    Last year I was seeking information about cryobiology for a novel I decided to put off. My choices were a $7 kids book and a $200 scientific reference volume. I went with the kids book.


    • If it takes me much longer to get around to reading these chapters, my next strategy will be to build a time machine to go back and observe some medieval mercenaries, embedded journalist style. Actually, that would help me quite a bit were such a thing possible, for there’s scant surviving info on mercenaries pre-14th century (I’m writing about the early 13th century).

      There are kid’s books about cryobiology? Mommy has to explain to little Johnny that Daddy isn’t coming home because he’s been cryogenically frozen to a 300-year journey to the Centauri sector?


  2. I love the way you write 🙂
    I can get with you on #1, 2 and 5!……on vacation now and my body is missing my daily fresh juice.
    Blessings and safe travels 🙂


    • Hi JC, thanks for commenting and for loving my writing. 🙂 It’s fun to go on vacation, by it does wreak havoc on one’s routine. Enjoy yourself, and you’ll appreciate your juice that much more when you get home. 🙂


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