After working for the same company for nearly 6 years I have a lot of vacation days. Or at least a lot of vacation days if you live in the United States. Obviously if I lived overseas I would get more vacation time.
Despite the fact that I get a good amount of vacation time, I haven't taken a full week off since June 2016. That was before I started my current position. Ever since then I've only taken two or three days off at a time because the work just builds up. The more time I take off the more stressful it is when I come back. I'm hoping to change that in the future. (I really NEED a Disney vacation, but that's a whole other story.)
Because Thursdays are generally slower days in my office I decided to take this Thursday August 11th off. I felt that I needed to go see my parents at the shore and check in. Thursday seemed like a good day. So let m, e tell you about my "vacation" day...
I remembered to turn off my alarm. Usually my alarm goes off at 4:13 a.m. so that I can go out and walk for an hour and a half or so before getting ready for work and whatever else the day might throw at me. With my alarm off, my eyes snapped open at 4:10. I thought about turning over and going back to sleep, but it just didn't work. So I got up I put on my workout clothes. I went downstairs, put on my reflector vest and my reflective armband and went out for a walk.
What was different than usual is that I didn't bring my hand weights, but I did bring a mask and a $5 bill. I planned on stopping at my local bagel shop to pick up a couple of bagels for my mom and I for lunch. Yes, you can get bagels at the Jersey shore but truly the best bagels in our area can be found at Bagelwich and it's worth the effort to go there.
I made sure my walking route was one where I would pass by Bagelwich on my way home. Of course as I was at least 2.25 miles away it started to rain. I didn't know it was supposed to rain. It had been pouring the night before and I thought we were only doing night time rain. It's been the pattern for the past several nights and we've had some really bad storms. (As in lightning struck so close to our house that it shook.)
When it started raining I hustled as fast as I could, which is not very fast. I debated on whether to go to the bagel shop or not because I didn't want to carry home wet bagels. It was a moot point after all because when I checked in they didn't have any onion bagels which is what I was looking for. So I just made my way home getting sopping wet and miserable. Of course by the time I walked in the door the rain had stopped.
As a sweaty wet mess I did what any normal person would. I went and got wetter by taking a shower. There's nothing like trying to peel off wet sweaty clothes when the humidity is 100 zillion percent. (How's that for a TMI?) I took a quick shower, dried off and I grabbed all of the laundry in the hamper and started a wash in the basement because hey it's your vacation and what's his vacation more than doing laundry?
I had to move quickly as my husband woke up and also wanted in the bathroom. There are challenges to living in a house with one bathroom and timing is everything. So while he was doing his thing I was working on this Sunday's service on my computer as my son and I are running our church's service. It's a hymn sing so it doesn't require too much work. However, sometimes not too much work turns out to be a lot of work.
Then it was time to run my husband to the doctor's office. He had a 7:15 appointment and needed me to drive him down there because he doesn't drive. (That’s a whole other story and a battle that I've been fighting for over 20 years. I'm never going to win.) To add to the fun the road that the doctor's office on is closed at a certain point (as in right by the office entrance.) So I had to go a roundabout way to get to his office, drop my husband off, pull out, come back up and get home.
By this time I could throw the laundry in the dryer and make sure that my son was up for work. Put together his premade lunch and made sure that he had bottled water as it was going to feel like over a hundred degrees.
When my husband finally called, I could tell he wasn't happy. On the drive home, he said that the doctor wasn't happy with his kidney function, which was enough to make him both upset and angry (understandably). The doctor wants him to make some dietary changes and then see him again within a month. However, (and this is what made ME mad) the office wasn't able to find an appointment for him until the end of October. Again, I SO miss our physician who retired (and with good reason).
By the time I got back home, it was time to drive my son to work. I wanted to leave early so that I could pick up those bagels and he wanted to leave early to so some setting up. I thought I'd just run in and get the bagels (and a muffin for my son), but while there wasn't a huge crowd there WAS a line. A line which moved slowly as this one woman was very slow and picky about what she wanted. Two people were able to place and get orders before she finally finished up and checked out (which was also a process...apparently putting your credit card into the reader can be a challenge for some).
Finally, I made it back to the car and got my son (and his muffin) to work. Then it was onto the Garden State Parkway during rush hour traffic. Thankfully most of the cars were headed in the opposite direction. I may have done a little speeding, but not too much as I saw quite a few state troopers on the road with cars they had pulled over and I didn't want to be one of them.
I had to make one more stop before I arrived at my parents and that was to ShopRite, which is on my way to their house, but too far for them. Even with this stop, I managed to make it to their house in under 2 hours!
I spent about four hours visiting. I did not go to the beach; to quote Cole Porter: "it's too darned hot." Instead for the most part we stayed inside, talked and I did a few things around the house. (Like pulling some weeds and getting the mail.) We had a really nice lunch together and did manage to spend a little time out on their deck overlooking the lagoon without completely melting.
I returned home around four (after an hour and thirty minutes on the Garden State Parkway) and that's when I did the dumbest thing. I turned on my work laptop. Yes, I know it was ONE day that I was taking off, but I just didn't want to wake up Friday morning and get totally stressed out. I wanted Friday to be a calm day (ha!) I was guessing I'd have about 35 emails...I had 32. So, being me, I went through them and answered the few that needed responses. While I'm doing that I get an instant message from a co-worker who I've been trying to connect with for weeks. (She is higher up in the food chain than I in a different division. We work together, but due to her hectic schedule we rarely get to really talk .) What ends up happening? I agree to a call with her at five in the evening. There was a lot to discuss (as she is going on vacation next week and then after that I am supposed to take 3 days off). Our conversation ended just before six.
And that was my "vacation" day. Tune in at the end of the month when I take an ACTUAL vacation for 3 days! How many days will I go before I turn on my work laptop? Place your bets now!