Going On Vacation

Today’s post is the last one you’ll see from me until April 5th at the earliest. As this goes up, I’m currently on the road to New Jersey (and here is my routine reminder that I write and schedule these a week ahead of time), so I won’t be taking the time to write a post today. After today, I’ll either be flying to, in, or flying back from Spain. Then, on the 3rd, I’ll be driving back to good old Wisconsin from New Jersey (and attempting to do it all in one day, unlike the drive down that will be split into two days). I will probably wind up splitting that into two days of driving as well since I am enthusiastic and willing to push myself but not suicidal or foolhardy (well, I supposed that depends on which of my friends you ask, though). I’m not going to risk myself. I imagine that I’ll probably be tired and maybe still a bit jetlagged at that point, since I’m getting back to New Jersey late Sunday night and plan to leave fairly early Monday morning.

Time will tell, though, since I have the ability to take more time off if I need it and I won’t know how I’m feeling until I get there. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually feel super rested and ready for a long haul. I doubt I’ll feel anything but tired at that point, but I’m open to other possibilities. I wouldn’t mind being pleasantly surprised. I actually enjoy driving, after all, and the only reason I’d need to spread the drive out over multiple days (beyond my own potential exhaustion, of course) is if the weather turns bad. I’d done enough driving in awful weather to know that I’d be better off waiting it out than trying to drive through most of it, and late March/early April is prime “late snowstorm” weather. There’s always the chance of thunderstorms, too, so all I can do at this point is speculate.

When I’m back, I’m sure I’ll have plenty to write about and maybe even some pictures to share. Though I’ll likely only share pictures that I’d use to replace the header image on my blog. I don’t really do much with pictures here, even if I have a bunch that I’ve taken and still like years later. I just don’t really want to get into all the formatting and stuff, you know? Plus, I’m really bad about just leaving stuff on my phone for years, eventually dumping it into folders on my PC, and then ultimately forgetting it’s there until I stumble on the folder again while looking for something else (which I then immeditealy forget about as I embark on a long trip down memory lane). Many of my friends have stopped asking me to take photos of them as a result. I always offer to send them the photos they want but they decline, usually thinking they’ll pull them off Facebook eventually, but I don’t put shit on Facebook and haven’t for several years at this point.

Anyway, I don’t really have much more to say other than you will get your next post on April 5th and I’ll have plenty of stories about traveling abroad when I come back (which will only show up after a week’s delay, of course). We’ve got some cool stuff planned (not to mention I get to see a friend in person that I haven’t seen since May of 2013), so I’m hoping to have a great time and to wind up with plenty I’d like to talk about. Have a good week and a half, everyone.

Infrared Isolation Will Return On April 8th

As a result of how busy I’ve been and how busy I expect to stay, I’m not even going to try to get a chapter of Infrared Isolation ready for any Saturday this month. I’ve got a two-week skip planned for the end of the month anyway, since I’ll be traveling and am planning to not update my blog at all while I’m on the road (though I expect I’ll have plenty to write about after my trip). So I’m just starting this now. Gonna save myself a whole lot of mental effort and strife, and do my best to get rested before I have to go on my first trip to Europe.

To be clear, there will be no new chapter posted on the 11th (today), the 18th, the 25th, or the 1st of April. Aside from today, there won’t even be a disclaimer post. I will post a reminder on the 27th not to expect anything new until the 3rd of April. I’ll actually focus on my vacation and what my friends and I are doing for once, instead of trying to keep this place going constantly.

On the 8th, though, I’ll have the next chapter queued up and ready to go. Until then, enjoy your weekends.

My Most Expensive Vacation Fantasy

Around this time last year, I was fantasizing about taking a trip somewhere. About entirely escaping from my day-to-day life and just going off to do any number of things. Maybe sit in a hottub in a remote cabin in some snowy woodlands somewhere. Maybe spend a night or two in a luxurious hotel room with a large bathtub so that I could finally immerse my entire frame in the water. Maybe just going someplace quiet and secluded so that I could finally just exist in silent peace for a while. Any of those, and more, would have been such wonderful experiences, but I just couldn’t get the money and the time together. Eventually, I did go on a summer trip with two of my siblings and two of our friends which ticked some of those boxes. It was nice to get away for a while and I hope to do something similar again soon. Probably not this year, what with the busy calendar I’ve got through the end of May, but someday.

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(In)Adequate Staffing In The Workplace

I think a lot about the way that workplaces are staffed. My previous job specifically hired people who hadn’t worked anywhere else and then basically ground then into dust for way too little pay, relying on quantity to make up for a lack of quality (specifically to rely on the quanitity of employees to make up for the lack of quality training they gave to those entry-level employees). Some people thrived in that environment and some people, myself included, did not because they didn’t fit in perfectly. My current job tends to work very hard to avoid getting rid of employees but seems to be struggling with figuring out how to retain employees, especially young-ish ones. At thirty one, I’m one of the youngest people on my team and, until this week, at almost six years, had worked at the company for the shortest amount of time. Throw in a bunch of horror stories about working at Amazon facilities, coffee shops, university systems (to name a few high-profile employers who have achieved a level of notoriety thanks to the recent surge of labor violations on their parts and the resulting union drives) and I’ve got a lot of different data about what it’s like to work for an employer that has staffing issues.

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One-Week Pause

I’ll be skipping this week’s Infrared Isolation post. Chapter 10 is going to need another week because, frankly, I’m pretty burned out and the thought of pushing myself to get it done and then asking my editor/alpha reader to get it back to me quickly felt like volunteerily going to hell for vacation. I’m not about that life so, instead, I’m taking a rare break and posting only this today. Not even gonna try to come up with some essay to fill the gap since doing OTHER work doesn’t really address the whole “too tired to do work” part of being burned out. Hope you’re all having a great weekend and that we’re not all drinking ourselves into a stupor following the apparent end of democracy in the US.

Post-Vacation Reflections

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.

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Vacation Conjecture

Today is my first day back to my normal life following my vacation. I can only guess at how I feel right now, since I’m writing this two weeks prior in order to allow myself a break from daily blog updates during said vacation. The actual week I’m on vacation is going to be only flash fiction so I can avoid feeling guilty for not posting anything. I’ve spent a week in a distant cabin a few hours north of where I normally live, enjoying a getaway with two of my younger siblings and two of my friends (all of us made up my old Monday night D&D group back before I realized I needed to dial things back a little bit in 2021). Some of these people met each other in person for the first time while sharing a cabin with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and probably just a little bit too little space for all five of us to be comfortable together. As someone who has lived alone for two years, I imagine it took a bit of getting used to for me and that I found great solace in the ability to just go for a walk or sit outside in the shade.

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Managing Vacation Anxiety

As I begin the careful calculus of packing and planning for my vacation, I’ve started weighing the various options I have for types of entertainment to bring with me to this isolated cabin. I have so many options that are portable enough to consider bringing with that I’m concerned I might be packing more tabletop and video games than everything else put together. It has been a long time since I’ve done anything to relax that didn’t center being at my apartment for an extended period of time, so I’ll admit I’m overly anxious about how to adequately prepare for my vacation. To be entirely fair to myself, something bad has happened every single time I’ve taken more than one or two days off of work for the past two years, so these anxieties aren’t entirely unfounded. Since one of the main strategies for processing anxieties involves acknowledging the parts that are actually reasonable or at least reasonable-adjacent and then taking steps to mitigate them, I’m giving myself space to over-plan and over-pack.

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I Struggle With Writing Short Fiction

I have a vacation coming up in a week and a half. I’ll have access to the internet and my laptop with me (I plan to work on some editing projects since I can’t just NOT do anything), but I still plan to double my usual blog buffer so I can just ignore my blog every day that I’m away. My current intention is to do five Flash Fiction posts in the place of my usual content, as a nice compromise between writing five normal posts and letting my blog sit empty for a full week, but I’m running into the same problem that I always do when I’m trying to produce new flash fiction. I just don’t know what stories to tell in so short a format!

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I Struggle To Spend Money On Myself

For the first time in enough years that I can’t actually figure out exactly how long it has been, I’m taking a week off work at a time that isn’t the week between Christmas and New Year’s. For the first time in my life as an adult in the workforce, I’m taking a week off of work to go on a vacation. Even when I was still willing to endure the stress of my family to access the lakehouse every summer, I never managed to take a full week off. I always had to align the trip with a holiday and take only a part of the week off. But this time I’m actually leaving my home to go someplace I’ve never been before with no intention other than to relax and enjoy myself.

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