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21 November 2004 @ 10:07 pm
Time off  
I'm faced with something unusual - time off. A whole week, to be exact. With another week at the end of December to follow shortly.

The question is what to do? In December I'm going to see my mom, but I'm not quite sure what to do this coming week. It's a good time to start rehab, but that's not going to take much time. I've started rooting around in the spare room, rearranging and such. I have fiber to play with - I'm working on combing 3 pounds of my dual grand champion fleece for the ultimate aran project. That gets a little old after awhile, and is not the best activity for my neck, however. C***** and I are going to dye one day, so I need to be thinking of new colors (besides that sage green and the magenta) for the merino/alpaca/silk blend. Maybe some medium blue? I guess I can spend some time answering email and trying to catch up with people, since I'll have a little time that isn't working early/late (or the hours I put in yesterday & today). Oh - sleeping in is good too.

People seem to think it's okay to pointedly mention the time I'm taking at the end of this year and had submitted for January. Funny, the fact that I've been hoarding vacation for the past couple of years (partly to have a cushion in case something were to happen at work or personally) doesn't seem to strike them when I'm *there*. Not to mention that I'm not one of the folks with more than 2 weeks vacation. This is the first time in 4 years that I've taken any time in either November or December - funny, no one seems to remember how grateful they pretended to be when I offered to be the one (some days the only one in the dept.) at work so they could go. And I didn't appreciate the comments about how the holidays are 'more important' and 'different' when you have a 'real family'. *sigh*

-the redhead-
Abby Franquemonthuaman on November 22nd, 2004 10:07 am (UTC)
See, that "real family" and whose vacations matter more and whatnot business... it all bugs the crap out of me for a lot of reasons.

Me, I get ummmm... 13 hrs 20 minutes of vacation to accrue per month, so that's 20 days to accrue per year. It caps at 400 hours. It's the "more than 3 years but less than 15" rate of accrual for Stanford, I think. I hoarded the CRAP out of my vacation time and I was at about 380 hours when my dad was diagnosed. Now, 2.75 years later... I have 205 hours. Guess where it all went? So that's approximately 3 months of vacation time spent for family illness over the past 3 years. Call it a month a year. What most people here spend on their regular vacations, which are vacations, and not trips to the oncology ICU. By and large, for "vacation" since 2001... hasn't really been one, for me. Or for 2d00r who, due to the nature of his work, generally *has* to be the guy who stays in town while everyone else goes elsewhere. As a result of which, we almost always host holiday stuff. Or, you know, don't get to see his parents because his mom can't travel, and missed my dad's last Christmas, and that sort of thing.

So partly, I wanna know what the heck these people who are always saying, "But I have a real family" are DOING. What's the deal, they feel somehow entitled to ... something I've always thought is largely a fiction? The only people I know who actually can take "vacations" in the sense that I think of a "vacation" are young married couples with no kids and no health issues in the extended family and no commitments beyond feeding cats, or else single people. And you know what kind of vacation I crave? Like more than anything? The kind where I take time off, don't check my email even, don't do anything, and don't go anywhere. I just stay home. Like say 2 weeks, maybe 3, of not going to work... just hanging around the house doing whatever *I* feel like, for me, personally. Oh my GOD. What total, unimaginable luxury. I can't even fathom it.

Okay, I'm digressing. Point being... lord, do I hear you. We've never taken any time around Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's, either -- either of us, in 6-7 years we've been here. This year, we're taking 3 days, for moving. ;-) And what I have taken, it's pretty much all been to do things like "be at my father's deathbed" but man, I swear, I feel like that's all affected people's perception of me far more than the people are affected who take a month to go backpacking in Europe. ;-) Yet you always hear all this stuff about "holidays" and "real family" and "more important" and I can't figure any of it out. I really can't.