Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Now for something completely different.

Next week, I face the first week-long vacation of my adult life where I have no plans.

I've never taken time off from work and done nothing.

By "nothing" I mean no cross-country trip, of course. My first dose of vacation time took to me my first solo trip, a long weekend in Chicago, and from then on it's been 1,000 miles or more. It's the only way I know how to operate.

But it's not like I have "nothing" to do. I've got an entire list of projects, errands, and favors I can attend to. In fact, I plan to use some of my time off to plan my next giant interstate (or inter-province) trip.

Through May, I'm using the last of my remaining vacation time. There's an entire week off next week, and then there's a five-day weekend for Memorial Day later this month. For that, I've had a few ideas. I've wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail, so I thought about heading down to the Tennessee/North Carolina border and roughing it. Yosemite National Park is also on my to-see list. Part of my big end-of-July trip involves me actually having money, however, and each of those trips seemed costly. What's a budget-minded person to do?

Here's the beauty of Facebook: I planned a long weekend in Los Angeles with Andrew thanks to a few wall postings. How's that for planning? All it will cost me is the plane ticket and money for food. And perhaps a Dodgers game.

All that's in the future. Next week, though, I plan on tying up any loose ends in my life. That includes thinking seriously and deeply about what I want to do with the next five years. Where do I want to work? Where do I want to live? What else do I want to do?

My mom's death left me introspective. It's not that I didn't see it coming, but I realized that I've been stuck in a rut. Mom dying woke me out of it. So from here on out, I'm not going to be so nervous about trying on new things, tasting new experiences, and quit living life day to day as I have been.

We get comfortable. You've probably felt it yourself.

Then we wake up 20 years down the road and have a lot of unchecked items off our big To-Do List. I don't want that to happen.

So that's what I'll do next week: work on the next big project. I'll have plenty of free time to think, do, and plan.


Drea said...

One of the things I love about you is that between cross-country trip planning, heading up your local rotary and winning multiple design awards, you still see yourself as "in a rut." Do overachievers ever manage to achieve? That I don't know, because I often feel the same way you do.

I'm very interested to see what you decide to do, because you can legitimately do whatever you put your mind to. No lip service - you have talent, drive, and personality, and that's a lethal combination.

But whatever you do decide, I hope you know that you have accomplished more in this first third of your life than many people care to attempt in their entire lives. I think it's okay to not be satisfied with the status quo...but give yourself credit where it is due. :)

dave said...

You're the best-est. Thanks 'Drea.