I would like to start off by acknowledging two things so you don’t have to later ask yourself if I’m aware of them:
- Yes. Yes I am deeply aware that it is privilege that I’ve had two weeks off. It’s not even just like… out there in the world privilege. It’s right here in my house privilege as I’m the only member of my three person household who receives paid vacations let alone just had two weeks of paid vacation.
- Yes. Yes I am being a little bit melodramatic. And when I say a little bit melodramatic yes I do mean full on dramatic on a scale only comparable to a 3 year olds who can’t have a cookie or doesn’t want to go to bed even though they are literally nodding off in the middle of eating the cookie they weren’t supposed to get in the first place.
Today is my last day off after two weeks of vacation. It’s Sunday. Tomorrow is Monday. Tomorrow is a workday. So while I would like to think I am still on vacation today is not really a vacation day because it’s the weekend. And especially in this weird alter-world of the pandemic I don’t typically work on weekends.
But I’ve been on vacation so I shouldn’t still have work fresh on my mind and I should be able to relax fully for these last few tranquil hours before I dive back into my job.
Which I love by the way. I feel like that could have gone without saying but then you might not have realized that I like what I do and who I do it for. But work is work and stress is stress and burnout is real and I needed a break so I took one.
A long one.
But here I sit in this buffer of time between vacation and work and my mind is a maze within a deep pit which I’m wandering through indiscriminately pretending there is method to my madness when there is, in fact, not. It feels much like the maze I was wandering through two weeks ago when I closed my work laptop, stood up from my desk chair and took the long long walk to the couch a couple of feet away to sit down and relax.
Okay it’s not a long walk. It’s a short one. But it’s perilous. I should know, I broke my stupid foot on it at the end of last year. So short but full of danger. And danger… danger is not my middle name.
Anxiety. That would be a good middle name for me. Or maybe Penelope. But that isn’t my middle name either.
Back to the point. I find myself in this purgatory between vacation and work and I know it all too well. It’s incredibly similar to the purgatory I find myself in at the beginning of a vacation when all I can think about it work and what I could have been doing if I weren’t “relaxing” on vacation.
You see if I’m just home, my mind won’t let me rest. And if I go somewhere and do something I don’t feel like I’m resting. So if I want to take a week off work and actually relax and enjoy it, I have to take two weeks off.
The first week is so that my brain can spin on all of the important work stuff I often don’t have the time and bandwidth for while I’m actively engaged doing work. It’s for thoughts about my future. For long mind rambles about the state of our projects. How I feel about the work that’s being done. How I think we can best move forward. How I feel I can best move forward and serve the project I work within. Usually that happens for the first weekend I’m off through, I don’t know Thursday? Thursday is the day I realize that I’m actually on vacation and it’s almost my weekend again and so I really should settle down and get busy living.
Then I enjoy my long weekend. And I ease into the next week of vacation on some little cloud of relaxation where I can start to think of who I am as a human. And I play with my plants. And I celebrate my birthday.
And I got dose one of the covid vaccine…
And then my body gets in a vicious brawl with the antigens injected into it and I sleep for the next three or so days. And then it’s right around Thursday again and I wake up to realize that my vacation… well it’s basically over.
All I have left is the long weekend before Monday.
Okay the covid vaccine part is incredibly particular to THIS vacation. But It’s not unlike me to save up some small medical procedure, medication switch, or a flu shot to get while on vacation so I just don’t have to worry about how it will impact my work. I realize this is not ideal in terms of “vacation” and self care” or whatever. I am so aware of this that I actually didn’t plan to get the covid vaccine while I was on vacation. But I was given the opportunity and, well fuck if someone offers to shove a needle full of covid antigens into your arm, your partner’s arm, and your parents’ arms you’d be a fool to say no.
So yeah. Obviously.
But that brings us back to now. The Sunday afternoon before vacation is over and just today I realized all of the things that it would have been really nice to have gotten done while I wasn’t working. But that I was too busy being on vacation to think about.
Big things. Little things. Medium things. I didn’t even bother to put in my grocery order for the week ahead or do weekly meal prep because I was too busy not working to get anything done. So now we’re just ordering pizza so I don’t have to figure out what else we should eat as I come to terms with the fact that…
Frankly I don’t even know what I’m coming to terms with except perhaps a slightly wasted vacation and regret that I didn’t buy myself a big white fluffy faux fur comforter and matching pillows…
Narrator: She did buy a big white fluffy faux fur comforter and matching pillows. They arrive on Thursday.
Oh… Yeah, I did didn’t I? At least that’s one thing off the list of regrets.
Featured image by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels
One thought on “Weekend purgatory…”
Having a two week paid vacation is not a privilege in most of Europe – it is mandated by law as a minimum amount of vacation (per year).