Sunday, November 05, 2006

the home stretch

I just checked the calendar. I have 30 more workdays until the end of the year. This is a bit alarming because there's still to much to do, but when the days are done I'll set down what's left undone, go on vacation, and come back to pick it up when I return. It will still be there.

Work has been busier, more challenging and more stressful than I can remember since 1988 when I helped to open a mega-big rec centre. This is different thought. It's just everyday demands compounding and accelerating. I'm not sure yet if it's cyclical or a trend that will continue indefinitely. I certainly hope it's the former.

Luckily, I work with a team of energetic, even-tempered, ambitious and down-to-earth people, including a good and compassionate boss. My co-workers are able to laugh hysterically when the demands get ridiculously overwhelming, and not get too upset by some of the near misses and minor catastrophes that come with over-business. The other day in a team meeting (which included a yummy supper - shared food helps too) we just burst out laughing for a few minutes, then got back to work. We stay aware of each other's home lives and interests and thus reinforce the important idea that this is just work, that the important part of life happens before and after. And we go home, and we support each other so we can take days off for field trips, orthodontist appointments, vacations.

Which brings me to vacation. For the first time in my full-time working life (which began in 1984) I will take 3 weeks paid vacation time all at one time. That's 15 workdays plus the surrounding weekends, plus the first day back to school - a lovely luxury - to just unwind. Before this I have taken only 2 weeks at a time so I'd be sure to have enough to cover all of the important holidays and times with the family. This year I have more paid vacation, so I'm going for it. I'll have a whole week off while the kids are still in school, and I'll take that first day when they go back, just to get ready to return to the office.

I wonder what I'll do? I'm sure I will sleep in, work out, read books, see friends, hang out with my family, watch foreign movies (remember my New Year's Resolution?), and I think there's another 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle in the plan.

I'll also help out with our daughter's Christmas panto. She's in a production of Aladdin that will run right through Christmas. Besides driving her back and forth to the theatre I'll help backstage. I have even volunteered to be "half of a camel" for at least some of the performances. I know, "WHICH HALF?" Here's my stock answer to a question that I have now hear at least a dozen times:

Here's the show. If you make it, be sure to applaud both halves of the camel. One of them might be me.

For now, I will enjoy the last 30 workdays and try to stay healthy. So far not one sick day this year and we need the whole sick pay rebate (in excess of $1 kilobuck) for a math tutuor for semester 2 Math Principles 11. Tra la la!

question: will you take winter vacation this year?

mompoet - counting up/down with anticipations

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