What Should I Do on a Shut-Down Day?

Posted by savannahkase on October 1, 2013 in Current Events, Personal, Working Mom |

One of my favorite preschool songs as a child was, “What Should We Do on a Rainy Day?” Each verse had a different fun thing to do – play with toys, sing and dance, paint a picture, bake a cake, etc. I found myself humming the song this morning as I woke up to the news that I did not have to go into work because of the government shutdown (last week my boss ceremoniously declared me a “valued, but non-essential, employee”). I have worked for the federal government long enough (on and off for a decade) to not buy into the hype; I was certain Congress would reach a deal at the last minute. Political grandstanding is one thing, but actually shutting down the United States Government? I am still a bit in shock.


Play date!

Because I was so sure the shutdown was not going to happen, I had not devoted much energy to thinking about what it would mean for my family. Aside from the fact that we currently have no income, we are grateful to have these unexpected, unpaid stay-cation days together.

Once the shutdown was confirmed, my mind began racing with fantasies of all the things I could do with my “borrowed time.” The list thus far includes:

  • Organize the Tupperware cupboard (we have enough reusable containers to pack three dozen lunches, but I can never find a sandwich tub lid when I need one!)
  • Skype with my sister and sister-in-law (and their babies)
  • Return library books
  • Change out the baby’s dresser (it’s time to pack away the 3-6 month cloths he can no longer squeeze into and bring out the 9-12 month stuff before he grows out of it)
  • Get a manicure (no job means no nail-biting-inducing stress)
  • Update my son’s baby book (I completed “Your First Week” back in February and have not added a page since)
  • Clean the fish tank (die, algae, die!)
  • Start knitting my in-laws’ Christmas gifts
  • Read The Economist from the last two weeks (I try so hard to read it cover-to-cover each week, but the only time I can reliably read is while I am brushing my teeth)
  • Sort and file or recycle the stack of mail on my desk (most of it has been there for at least a month, so hopefully it wasn’t too important)
  • Go for a jog with my son in his stroller (in training for our AIDS run in three weeks)
  • Pack for our trip to Boston later this week (good timing for a vacation)
  • Do at least three loads of laundry (and put everything back where it belongs)
  • Update my blog (check!)

As it turned out, I only got around to the last thing on the list today. Instead, I spent the day with my guys … playing with toys, singing and dancing, baking waffles and brownies – the usual rainy day activities.  Congress is still arguing amongst itself, so I can get to the other things on my list tomorrow, or the day after …

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