Working Retreat, Day 1: nothing else to see here, folks.

Technically, it’s day five, but I’m calling this day 1 because I allowed myself four days of blissful, unadulterated TV binging over the New Year before putting on real pants and starting work like an adult (while trying to shake off the penetrating sadness that is true crime television).

I’m on a 30-day self-created residency on the sunny shores of the Gulf Coast, where a freakish polar vortex has brought today’s temperature up to a balmy 39 degrees, a level nearly unheard of in this area. The owner of our rental contacted me on our first day here, as the piping sits above ground and when it gets below 50 degrees, property owners aren’t sure whether to leave the faucets and sinks on a slow drip or just… give up. I researched the meaning of “gale warning” while attempting to ignore the subtle vibrations of a house on stilts literally being blown around by the wind, as the house is perched perfectly between the gulf and the bay, 15 miles from town. We’re here in the off-off-season, which means the house was cheap and the restaurants are deserted. My idea of a vacation is rolling the dice and seeing what happens over an extended period of time. So here we are, alternating between our bathing suits and heaviest coats, waiting for the weekend’s promising 60-degree temperatures.

This isn’t a total vacation, though. I have a mile-long to-do list titled “artistic shit” which is actually a compilation of choice items from ten other, more PG-titled lists. You know it’s time to get to work when your to-dos not only multiply, but start spawning actual offspring.

We (meaning my husband and I) planned this trip well before the to-dos copulated. Our stipulations were that we choose a place within walking distance of a beach, have wi-fi, it must not exceed 200% of our monthly mortgage, and we had to bring our devil dachshunds along, a requirement that has already justified the cost of the trip, as there’s no experience quite like introducing 8-inch high dogs to the ocean and sand.

After lining up a house sitter, securing a sub for my job, and a hellish Christmas morning spent packing for a month, we made the 4-hour drive to the Missouri bootheel, where we spent a lovely few days eating ourselves into oblivion with family before embarking to the water.

Will I write an update every day? Maybe if this were 2013, when life was rife with the renewable energy of my mid-20’s. Now, I’m officially in my 30’s and halfway through a pregnancy. Like a fine wine I can’t drink, I’m mellowing with age, and finding it quite acceptable if I accomplish only a few things each day (that includes showering), even on a working vacation like this one. My updates will be limited to humdrum highlights and unsensational updates on the life of a working 30-something musician on retreat.

Nothing else to see here, folks. Move along.