I started the contract gig at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment six months ago today. I can't even believe it has already been that long. So much left to do, and I've got at least five months more there. The crazy thing is that I haven't had any real time off in these six months, which is beyond rare... I don't think I've ever gone that long without non-holiday time off. The truth is, it's wearing on me a bit.
I've always been one to make sure I'm taking off the time due to me in any job. I've never tried to bank it, I've only tried to make the most of it. It's not an issue of dedication (or martyrdom, to some people), it's just that I know how much better off I am after taking time off. The last six months, however, I knew I would have to stick it out so I could bank the money for our house down payment. Working contract, you can take time off without pay whenever it suits you (provided the business is OK with it), and generally it works out since it typically pays more anyway. But wanting to hit that date with a solid down payment meant racing against the construction of the house.
I was off for about two months before starting this gig, though I wouldn't characterize the last part of that as relaxing, given the sudden need to move. It has been a very long time to be switched on without a break, and I'm feeling it. It's not physical exhaustion, just mental. In my personal life we've had all of the stress around Simon's issues, Diana's surgery, the house and the holidays. Work gets intense in waves, and because I'm into it, I find myself thinking through things even in the shower. It's hard to turn it off, which I suppose is a good thing. As I've said before, I haven't been this engaged in years.
This isn't me crying boo-hoo or complaining, but I am acknowledging that I need to take a break. Being this deep into everything for this long isn't sustainable. I don't want to burn out. I just don't know when I can dial it back and relax. It's not a financial issue, but more a practical issue. A month from now, we'll start the moving process. I know we'll take a long weekend in April for our anniversary for sure, but I need to find some time in the interim.