Isn't it funny how you don't appreciate time off until you get almost none of it? I remember the summer between high school graduation and my first year of college. I was living at home and working part-time, which resulted in an obscene amount of free time and a modest income that was entirely expendable. Given that I can hardly recall a thing about that summer (save graduation and a two-week trip to China, that is), I clearly squandered that money and time on god knows what and had little to no appreciation for my good fortune.
So when plans to visit an old buddy in Albuquerque in late March fell through and I found myself with a week of vacation time to use before the end of the fiscal year, I finally realized the gift that had been bestowed upon me, which is to say five days of (paid) nothingness. After half a year of working six (sometimes seven) days a week, I discovered something as fabulous as a trip to the beach or to see an old friend: freedom. Not the buzz-word, euphemistic, politicized, we're-better-than-those-people-over-there kind of freedom, but the state-of-being-free kind.
And once I fully grasped the lack of checklists, time sheets, mail runs, phones, schedules, 6:00 a.m. alarms, and managers, I was finally able to fully embrace my liberty, and relax enough to get shit done.
Here's a list of a few things I accomplished in those six days:
-Got the oil changed (is it a sign of maturity that I relish the extra time to accomplish such things?)
-Took in my violin for some much needed cleaning/repair/upkeep
-Finished that biography of Elizabeth I
-Visited both sets of parental units and talked to my sister
-Saw two movies (in the theater!)
-Spent some quality Mario Kart time with my buddy The Towel Fairy, whom I will likely not see much once she starts law school
-Went clothes shopping and resisted the urge to buy crap I didn't need
-Purchased razors in the vain hope that spring-like weather would arrive soon after (and for which I'm still waiting)
-Watched Inception a second time with my boyfriend so we could debate about whether he was dreaming the whole time or not (I still don't know because those tricky bastards wouldn't show his left hand at the end, because he wore his wedding band in the dream sequences)
-Got my hair cut for the first time since that free haircut charity thingy last summer
-Consumed about a gallon of coffee
You know what I didn't do, for once in my life? Get myself so worked up over a guilty sense of needing to accomplish everything in order to feel like I'd accomplished something that I ended up doing nothing at all (funny how that happens). Long stretches of idle time can wreak havoc on the psyche that way.
Only a pretentious, over-thinking asshole like me could extract such meaning out of a five day stay-cation; however, my douchebaggery notwithstanding, I propose a recommendation to all, if you can, to make some off-duty time for yourself next time you get a day or two off work. Just do it. You're welcome.