Barbara had a post yesterday over on Losing it in Ottawa that started with a comment about the inconsistency of weekends in her eating plan. Man, I totally get that. You’re trapped in an office all week, working off a routine, so it totally makes sense that you have a food/eating routine, right? Then it’s the weekend and you have a different schedule and you only made 5 days worth of lunches and snacks and you’re out and about and… and…

And it all goes to hell in a handbasket.

I’m on vacation right now, for 12 consecutive days. It’s an odd vacation for me. Normally I go somewhere on my holidays – this vacation, my full intention was to not get dressed for the first two days while I lay on my sofa and watched old TV on DVD. Instead of needing a vacation to recover from my vacation, this time I needed it to recover from my job.

Where does that land me with organized eating? You’d think, since I’m on vacation, I’d find it easier to plan and organize my food, wouldn’t you? And that activity would be organic and easy to fit in? Not so much, actually.

There are three things that make my mental health improve: physical activity, making stuff (to be honest with you, this means doing something manual that has almost immediate results), and being social. This is day four of my vacation. Thus far, I’ve: washed the car, house siding, and doors; mowed the lawns and weeded (jesus! The weeds!); had a BBQ with my best friends and their small and very energetic children; hung out with my visiting uncle; gone for a walk in the woods and a swim in a pool; took my first Zumba class (the horror! the shame!); went to a cheesy movie; completed a 1000 piece puzzle; watched 8 episodes of Season One of the Tudors; played mini-putt with my dude…

Are you tired yet? Wait for it! Today I’m going to Upper Canada Village; tomorrow I’m going to Manotick for lunch with my dear friend Dani (who I am determined to work with again someday); Thursday I’m putting heat reflective film on the upstairs windows and hopefully at least prepping to paint the entranceway; Friday I’m going on a 6 hour canoe trip with my dad (speaking of which, I’m wondering if there’s a way to put a spycam in the back of the canoe so I can see if he’s actually paddling or just “steering” the boat). I swear to you I’m painting that entryway before I go back to work next Wednesday.

It’s kind of tough to be all that organized amidst this bonanza of activities. Plus, it’s hotter than stink, and frankly, I’m not that enamoured of turning on the BBQ when it’s 37C with the humidex. So, I’ve been eating a lot of toast and peanut butter, and a fair amount of crap, which isn’t all that great. Also, there’s been ice cream. Oh god, I love ice cream. When it’s really hot, it’s quite frankly the only thing I want to eat. I finally made the switch at dairy queen from blizzards to cones. There was a small tear in my eye when I ordered a cone. Okay, it may have actually trembled off the eyelid and down my cheek. But whatever. It was cold and refreshing and awesome.

Long story short, I’ve gained a couple of pounds in the past month. But it’s okay. I made choices and I knew the impact of those choices. But look at my plans! Even my vacation is now healthier than it used to be. There’s activity (non-gym activity!) pretty much seamlessly built into just about every plan I have. And each activity contributes to my mental health agenda – it’s social, or it’s got a short term positive result, or it’s physical (or all three!). It just happened that way, but I’m pretty impressed with myself.

So, today I’m going to an 1860s theme park. I’m bringing nuts for a snack and am fully expecting to eat a crappy sandwich and chips for lunch. But I’m going to be walking around for a few hours and yeah, I’m going to the gym tonight (to hit things, which is less important when I’m not working). I’m writing it all down and staying accountable. I’m working it.

Yeah, vacations (and weekends) are a bit of a wrinkle in the grand master organizational plan, but they’re totally totally worth it.