A couple dozen times a day I see a status update on Twitter or Facebook that someone is counting the days, minutes, or hours til Vacation.
It makes me sad.
I haven't counted the days til Vacation since I was in Grad School.
I'm sure they would be just as sad for me, since I probably haven't been on an actual Vacation in about 10 years. I have no plans to retire -- ever -- beyond the general goal that it would be nice to spend more time teaching.
And that's fine by me.
The first thing to factor out is the fact that I hate to travel. I almost never do it. The last really long trip I took was to Montreal.(Longer than you'd think, cause I drove.) Montreal itself is pretty -- fairly European (so I'm told) and an unbelievable climate in July.But overall, I was not impressed by Canada. Except it did give me the best headline of my writing career: Les Nips du Fromage.
Generally speaking (factoring out my disdain for Planes, Trains, & Automobiles), there are two main things that keep me from being among the Vacation crew.
First, I try not to spend ANY of my life on anticipation (I wish I was that successful at avoiding its evil cousin, Dread, but I'm not). I know people who live their entire lives around an annual August pilgrimage to wherever. The remaining 50 weeks of the year, they're just putting in time.
I might spend breakfast looking forward to dinner, but beyond that, I really try not to get too far ahead of myself.
Second, I like what I do for a living. I could wax on about creative fulfillment and so on -- and I don't mean to trivialize that (it's critical) -- but the daily quality-of-life things are what make me happy.
-For example, I don't have a job where I have to wear a bra. As an adolescent, growing up, I always hoped for that in a career path. And clearly, it pays to dream big.
-I also don't have to wear pantyhose -- probably no one does anymore -- but I HAVE worked places where that was required.
-I do have a job where dogs are welcome.
-I have a parking space. (I definitely know not to take THAT for granted.)
-I work in a designated ass-kissing-free Zone. I don't kiss any ass. Nobody kisses mine.
-Profanity is permissible and even encouraged.
-It's inside work. With Air Conditioning.
About 15 years ago, I was interviewing a band and we were winding down, when, at 4 o'clock, they looked at their watches and started packing up their stuff, just like they were punching a clock.I asked if I was keeping them from something, and they looked at me like they were explaining something to a slow child, and said, "It's 4 o'clock... Andy Griffith's on."
I knew then I could only fantasize about a job where I could someday say "it's time for Andy Griffith" and have that be a perfectly plausible, acceptable reason for walking out of a room.
And now I have one.
Like any office, of course, there's always too much work and never enough time -- but I try to never lose sight of the fact that life is just exponentially harder if you have to get through it in restrictive undergarments.And by the sheer grace of God, long hours, a $50,000 education (which used to be s lot of money) and decades of hard work,at the moment, I don't have to.
But for now, you'll have to excuse me. Bonanza's on.