Quarterly decompress

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 2:30 PM | comments: 0

I'm fortunate enough to have four weeks off per year (plus holidays), and for a long time I've been in that boat. Typically I try to take a week off about every quarter instead of breaking it down into smaller pieces. I'm almost to another week off from work, and I find myself right at the place of being mentally spent.

To be clear, I love the work, but it is challenging, and I work pretty hard. I've never been a workaholic, but I've never been great at really creating boundaries when working remotely, which is to say that I'll roll into the office between 8 and 8:30, and not really take any meaningful break until I end at 5:30 or 6. Being that plugged in for that long everyday I think has a cost, which becomes obvious on Friday nights when I turn into an intellectual blob.

I'm sure the decompression need is compounded in similar ways that it is for everyone. The pandemic has challenged everyone, and the relative stability of a good job doesn't isolate you from it. Like anyone, we have some serious challenges at home, too.

Am I doing it wrong by waiting three months to take time off? Maybe, but I think the pandemic context is why it feels harder. In "normal" times, we get out and go bowling, or to theme parks, and we have parties, and we travel to places. We're even pretty good at hacking around having a child in school, with our wonderful Epcot lunches, or even local hotel stays while Simon is still in class. Some of that will come back as soon as the next few months, fortunately. By the end of April, Diana and I, and our parents, will all be fully vaccinated plus the two weeks. Simon obviously won't be, but he's the least vulnerable.

There have been some "discoveries" certainly over the last year that have made up for our routines. A combination of much carry-out food, socially distant fire pits, berry picking, routine Zoom meetings, etc., have all helped things out. I think the limitation is less about the availability of things to do and more about how spontaneous you can be. It seems like you have to plan more to do stuff.

Diana and I had a two-year running tradition of visiting New York in early April, and I hope we can resume that next year. With any luck, maybe I'll get to our office in One World Trade Center before the end of the year. This year, I'll just be hanging out, shuttling Simon to and from school and maybe catching up on my crafting.


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