My Father
Teaching about the Holocaust

How Personal of a Personal Day

I took a personal day today. I just couldn’t take one more day of the routine. I couldn’t take one more day of everyone before me. I couldn’t do it. I needed some time to not care about anything--everything.

It was, obviously, supposed to be a “me first” day. And it was, when I contemplated it. For the few days leading up to the decision to take this specific day and then for a few days after I set the date and arranged for a sub, it was my day. I thought about where I would go for lunch and what I would buy with the $100 Hanukkah gelt (money) from my mother: shoes or shirt, or even both. And I wondered where I would spend the time before and after those activities. And it was lovely, this leisurely way of thinking. I was anticipating my day off as much as a teacher looks forward to summer vacation.

But then I realized that I need to bring my car in for service and it would be better to do it today than on the weekend. And then I remembered my credit card bill; it was high, not from purchases now hanging in my closet or on me, but from living life and going on vacation during winter break to visit Kenny's mother and my daughter on the other coast. So I decided I could survive without any new things. And the refrigerator, well, I teach on Tuesday nights after a whole day of teaching, so the leftovers had already been finished. Someone would need to make dinner, and since I’m the only cook in the house, it would be me. Why not make something nice, make the delicious, multi-stepped, Maltese squash pie that Kenny’s mother makes? So there was the supermarket, the cooking, and the cleaning up. Oh, and since I had spent the whole weekend providing feedback on essays for seniors, I hadn’t had time to provide feedback on the essays the freshman had written, I needed to get those done—since I already have a backlog of essays to grade this weekend. So instead of reading, writing or staring into space while I waited for my car to get fixed, I worked.

Still, I managed to get in lunch at a Mexican restaurant, picked for the frozen margarita that could accompany the meal, and the proximity to the house.

And then I went home and napped for an hour and a half.

And I talked with my older daughter out in LA, and my mother in Florida, and I took Poops for a walk in the rain. And I just finished reading a book.

I guess it was as personal a day as I could have.

I’m already anticipating taking another one in March; it’s a month with no days off--too much routine. Personal day. If this is how personal it can be, I say it’s worth it: the combination of me and them, the inability to only tend to myself, or, perhaps, that is utterly what has come to be personal for me.



While it may not have been the ideal day off, you definitely took care of what needed to be done. If anything, you saved yourself from potentially hectic days ahead!

I definitely need to break away from my routine with some spontaneity -- maybe I'll do a movie-esque thing and take the next train to anywhere! haha


I guess we can only get away to a certain degree--the degree that we let ourselves. But even that degree needs to be done sometimes. Enjoy your train ride!

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