The longer I work, and the more vacations I take as a working person (as opposed to a student), the more I realize that the true value of a vacation lies, first, in its anticipation (because a lot of misery can be survived when there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and for some reason the tunnel inevitably gets really dark right before the end), and second, in its ability literally to vacate the everyday cares and routines from my mind (or perhaps more accurately, to vacate me from the cares and routines; hence some of the appeal of distant travel). I always hope that there will be a third phase to the vacation; namely, that I’ll be able to resume ordinary life on somewhat better terms for a while after the vacation. Alas, that rarely happens.
I’ve been back to work for all of two days and already I’m working until the middle of the night (I just stopped a moment ago, with plenty left to do) and trying, in vain, to set reasonable expectations and boundaries. It’s no different, really, from what happens after every vacation — only this time I’d hoped it would be different. Partly because the months prior to this vacation had been particularly crushing, but also because Amanda is here for another week and I had hoped to enjoy a sort of twilight vacation after hours until she left (twilight with a lower-case “t”; I don’t mean a vampire-themed vacation).
I wonder, though: When I complain about my work schedule like this, how willing am I to make a change to improve it? Would I go so far as to change jobs altogether? So far I’ve gone back and forth in my mind — and until now it’s only been in my mind because the possibility of changing has always been more theoretical than concrete. But I currently have two potential opportunities to change jobs, both of which may be getting more concrete, and one of which would pretty likely permit a more reasonable work/life balance.
Which means that not only do I get to angst about the loss of that post-vacation glow, I also get to angst about tricky questions like what I want to be when I grow up. (Rrrgh)
But I’m not going to solve this riddle tonight — so enough blogging: I’m off to bed!