The List


My entire office takes the last two weeks of August off. It’s such a brilliant idea, because when everyone is out of the office, no one needs to catch up when we all return. Everything just… pauses… and then it starts again.

I knew that this break was coming, so I thought about what I might want to do – visit Seattle, or Nashville, or Denver, or even Hong Kong (dream big) – but in the end, I decided to stay right here in the old M-P-L-S.

It was such a good decision.

Don’t get me wrong – the last two weeks have been quiet as a mouse. Many boring tasks were attended to. I spent 90% of my time alone – by choice, because as an introvert, this was a DREAM COME TRUE.

Since I’m heading back to work tomorrow morning, I thought I’d list all that’s been accomplished in the last 17 days:

  • Enrolled in my new 401K
  • Rolled over my old 401K
  • Found a new dentist, and had my old records sent over
  • Found a new vet for Foxy, and had her old records sent over
  • Vacuumed my car
  • Weeded every flower bed in my yard
  • Picked up all of the sticks in my yard
  • Visited the DMV for the third time
  • Touched up paint in the bathroom
  • Bought a desk off Craigslist
  • Bought a headboard for the guest bed off Craigslist
  • Bought bedding for the guest bed
  • Mowed the lawn
  • Organized the work bench in the basement
  • Visited the Minnehaha dog park seven times
  • Visited Wisconsin twice
  • Read two books (For the Love, The Invention of Wings)
  • Watched two movies (The Theory of Everything, Whiplash – and I sent Birdman back before finishing it)
  • Watched Good Morning America every day
  • Killed a mouse in the kitchen
  • Got an oil change
  • Got a massage
  • Brushed the dog (Foxy’s coat is VERY soft these days – I blame Solid Gold)
  • Got the dog enrolled in doggie daycare, just in case I ever decide to take her (the jury is still out)
  • Organized my closets
  • Made multiple CrockPot freezer meals to get ready for the fall
  • Arranged for gutters to be installed
  • Arranged for the way-high-up trees to be trimmed
  • Figured out my property boundaries without the help of a land surveyor (I shall keep my $900, thankyouverymuch)
  • Got YARD WASTE stickers for my bins
  • Installed new ink cartridges in my printer
  • Hosted Greta and Jeff for two nights
  • Hung pictures on the walls
  • Hung a door back on the hinges all by myself
  • Got a toilet brush and a paper towel holder and a kettle
  • Edited a piece I’ve written for a magazine
  • Hit 20K+ steps on my Fitbit a lot of days
  • Bought a ticket to Hong Kong after all

GRIN. I am smiling so huge. I’ve wanted to visit my dear friends in Hong Kong since I was in high school, and come February, I’ll finally get my chance!

I am so grateful for an uninterrupted window of time to take care of all of these little tasks that would have worn on me throughout the fall. Tomorrow, I’ll go back to work a little less ragged, slightly more together, and ready to take on a very busy season.

May you embrace your staycation with gusto.


The guest room is ready for you.



  1. Christina on August 30, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    This list kicks so much ass. I am grinning reading it all. And I am so inspired to get some of my own tasks knocked and enjoy the fall (can I pretty please also have two weeks to myself? HEAVEN!). And Hong Kong! It’s all happening and I’m staying in that guest room in 2016, I need to get on your calendar pronto.

  2. Michael Rhyne on August 30, 2015 at 1:01 PM

    I *heart* this post so much…and yes, a kick-ass staycation!

  3. Janelle from Canada on August 30, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    You tackled a lot of amazing things!! Can’t wait for the 14 hour road trip ;)

  4. Holly Harris Wood on August 31, 2015 at 6:16 AM

    We Hong Kongers will welcome you warmly, Annie!

  5. Greta on August 31, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    Love that we constituted a bullet point. :) such an impressive list!! Love and miss you friend!!

  6. Sarah on August 31, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    That’s an impressive list. I love a good staycation!

  7. Leigh Kramer on August 31, 2015 at 7:13 PM

    This confirms On Being is the coolest place to work ever. Also: so glad you get to go to Hong Kong!

  8. Debbie Barnett on September 1, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    I do you love a staycation! My generally aren’t as productive but I will do withdraw into some alone time. I’m 50-50 introvert and extrovert so I definitely need some alone time restoration. That said… I can’t believe you have a friend named Holly Wood! And she’s in Hong Kong! I don’t even know her but I heard her. Hey Holly Wood!

  9. Debbie Barnett on September 1, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    *heart her (not heard). Dang that post was a hot mess of typos!

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