In a previous job, I had a boss who always took two full weeks at Christmas. I couldn't really get that -- back then I had a handful of vacation days. When I have that kind of time, I thought, I will not spend it in Birmingham, Alabama, on vacation.
Funny thing: now I have that kind of time, and guess where I'm preparing to spend a two-week vacation? Yep. Though to be technical, it'll be in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, a point to which my twenty something self would be aghast.
Actually, it's more than two weeks -- and it's the longest stretch of time off I've ever taken from working since I embarked on my career nearly 15 years ago. Didn't plan it that way, I just looked up and realized that the year was nearly gone and I hadn't planned a trip. Plus I've logged more miles than every this year, and the thought of getting on another plane ...
So here I am with 17 or so days. 17 days in which, for the first time in my working life, I've been clear: I'm out. Contact me only in an emergency.
What to do, what to do? First of all, I'm going to sit in my pajamas on the couch and read books and take naps. I'm going to take long walks. I'm going to have long lunches with friends I rarely get to see. I'm going to hang out with my family.
I'm going to reset my brain. And sleep.
As I tell people I won't be back till the New Year, it seems like a lot of time, but it will go by quickly, so I'm going to squeeze every last minute out of it. I'd like to go see some live music, and feel the energy of staying up past 9 p.m. In clothes other than pajamas.
I'd like to laugh a little more than I have been recently.
I will do something to give back, and it will be outside of my comfort zone.
There are the practical things. I may or may not tackle some de-cluttering projects that have gathered dust the past year. I do have to go to the county courthouse to straighten out a tag issue. (Because nothing says relaxing than Jefferson County tag lines!) I'm going to eat the heck out of some carbs because we're launching into a Paleo eating plan in January.
There will be some re-assessing, some goal shifting, and a lot of listening to other people's Best Music of 2012 that I missed.
But, I'm stopping short of making a grand list of goals, other than to take care of myself and the people around me and to celebrate this season. Some stillness, prayer, silliness, and hopefully, a little peace.