Welp, I did it. I went on vacation and survived. Everyone got along, we all had as much space as we wanted, and I got to enjoy having a largely unstructured week. The most frustrating part of the trip was that people would talk about doing something in the morning, I’d set an alarm accordingly (to ensure I was up and ready to go by the discussed time) and rarely was that true of anyone else. Which wasn’t really a big deal since I could just play video games or read or go for a walk or anything else I desired, so all things said and done, it was a pretty great trip. I do wish I came out of it feeling more rested, but I also didn’t spend more than an hour laying in bed, feeling super depressed before coming in to work this morning, so I think I benefited from the rest. Another week or two would have been better, but it would also have been better to have won the lottery, so I’m content with what I got.
Now, as I get back to my day job and the never-ending list of personal projects, goals, and miscellaneous to-do items (not a guilt thing so much as a memory thing since there’s no due dates tied to these rolling lists), I feel a bit of the shine of my vacation wearing off. Not because I have so much to do, but because the respite from my problems is over and my problems still need attending to. I’m definitely feeling more capable of tackling some of these things, but it is a bit disheartening to remember just how many there were. All with the constant backdrop of returning to good wifi and cell signal so now I have to more strenuously resist the urge to browse twitter for all the news minutiae I missed while I was on vacation. So far, I’ve managed to avoid scrolling my Twitter Timeline too much, but I’ve also stayed much more engaged than usual during a morning at work. Once I run out of easy, first-day-back-to-work type tasks, I’m sure it’ll be more difficult.
That said, I think I have a better understanding of my needs and priorities after this time away. All of my problems have come into sharper focus now that I’m no longer as burned out and exhausted as I was. I’m still burned out and exhausted, of course. One week away isn’t going to fix all that. But I know what I need to be working on and how much effort I should be putting toward it. I also feel like I have the energy to be putting toward it, too. We’ll see how long that lasts, since I can already feel myself being drained as my stress mounts at work. Most of my coworkers either had Covid while I was on vacation or currently have it now as I’m getting back to work, so I’m feeling a lot more pressure to distance myself from them than usual. I mask up at work, and I’m fairly confident I should be safe so long as I continue to take my usual precautions. Also, I’m trying to upgrade from KN95s which I have been able to purchase locally to N95s that I have to order online, so that should also help keep me safe as the pandemic shifts and I can’t be as distanced as I’d like to be all the time.
As I slowly begin the process of getting back to work on all my various projects (and scramble to get some work done for my old serial story I’m planning to repost since I did absolutely zero work on that during my vacation), I find myself imagining the kind of life I would like to live. I’m still years away from it, due to saving requirements stemming from upcoming trips, my student loans, and the rising inflation/rent situation in my country right now, but I had my first taste of really being able to set my own schedule for a whole week in almost a decade. It would be amazing to be self-employed and able to pursue my own projects as I balance life, work, and rest in a way I’ve never been able to afford to as an adult. To balance trips to pick up necessary groceries, to take turns cleaning up around the house with people, to enjoy calm domesticity, to be able to be around other people without needing to always interact, to be able to do whatever I like so long as I take care of all the major and important items. Writing full-time or some kind of creative production like being a for-hire Dungeon Master or media-empire creative type are probably the only ways I’ll get to live that kind of life, but I’m still hopeful that I’ll be able to make it happen somehow.
Anyway, this scattered collection of thoughts is all I’ve got to say about my vacation. It was just a nice, restful time and I don’t have any grand conclusions or ideas based on it to share. Felt so good to just rest and do whatever without needing to have my mind constantly churning as I develop blog post ideas or think through the various writing projects I am working on. I did nothing much for several days in a row and I value that more than any amount of productivity I could have had in the same time period. I got the rest I needed to keep things moving and now it’s time to begin the work of spinning all these plates once again.