I got a list this morning at work of vacation dates for people in my department so that I could keep track of when I need to be picking up the slack in other areas when key people are off. It made me realize I should probably book a couple myself, especially for something like Fan Expo. It’s on a holiday weekend and those are usually the ones that people like to extend with their vacation days. Since I won passes for Fan Expo this year, I decided to at least make sure I booked the time off before one of the people I need to cover for books it off instead!
So I worked out the dates and submitted the vacation request for the day before, all 4 days of Fan Expo, and then returning to work on the following Tuesday, because the Monday is a holiday. It uses up 3 vacation days, but actually gives me 6 days off in a row. Even though a hefty percentage of those will be spent crammed into a convention hall. Still. Not too shabby.
Then I decided to do something I’ve never really done before. I booked off three more mini-staycations…for no reason whatsoever! Just because I can! Whaaat?!
Each one is essentially just extra-long weekends, using 2 vacation days for Thursdays and Fridays and returning to work the following Mondays. One in each of May, June and July. Some of those months have 3-day long weekends, andyway, and these mini stay-cations are not related to those. They are extras. And I have no particular plans for any single one of them.
Usually when I book vacations, it’s always for something, even when it’s just a day or two. There’s always an event, or a trip, or a trip for an event, or some other specific place I have to be or thing I need to do. When I was taking weekly Avonex shots to treat my MS, I usually had to burn a vacation day just to recover, if I was already doing something over the weekend and couldn’t spend a day feeling like ass. As my level of fatigue grew even more once I switched to a daily medication with less severe side effects, I started booking an extra day before or after a busy weekend, just so I could have one day where additional rest was an option. Though it’s always hard not to use those as zoo days, too, depending on the weather and my energy level.
Anyway, before all this MS stuff, I really only ever took vacation so that I could do other things – film festivals, conventions…even most of my trips have been for one of those things. I went to Mexico once for two weeks, but we filled it with day trips around the country. Still, it ended up being more restful than any other vacation I’d had. Probably because we were gone for the extra week so we actually could fit everything in and yet still just laze around on the beach sometimes.
And now here I am, more than a decade later, booking off a few long weekends for which I have no set plans…and it’s kind of scary! Haha
I chose the dates, and had no reason for picking those specific ones except for the fact that no one else had yet. I feel so…carefully carefree!
Is that a thing? Can it be? ‘Cause that’s how I’m feeling.
The doubts set in pretty much as soon as I hit the “Submit” button on the final vacation request form. Why am I wasting days when I am trying to bank as many as I can for unforeseen issues that could arise at any time? What if something comes up later and I use more days after I’ve used some for no reason? What if something comes up during those three to four months that I want to do? Do I take even more das, or see if I can change them? Every time I take days off things seem to get messed up or fall behind, and it usually becomes harder on me to get caught up again after, so why am I doing this to myself? Maybe I should cancel one or two of the requests and just work them, anyway.
I even gave reasons why it was okay to not approve them all, or ask that some of them be shortened or changed in some way. Like, from two days, it can’t get much shorter, but anyway – my brain immediately started trying to reason a way out of taking reason-less vacations.
They were all approved…pretty much in record time, I think.
And I let them be. It’s been a couple of hours now and I still have four small vacations coming to me over the next 4-5 months. As well as the 3 other long weekends that aren’t Labor Day (which is the only one mixed into my extended vacation time for Fan Expo purposes).
Part of me will continue to worry about the possibility of backfire, especially after this last mini-vacation went.
But another part of me is pretty excited, and looking forward to (hopefully) not over-working myself when I’m supposed to just be relaxing and hanging with the critters I love!