All Good Things Must Come to an End

I am going back to the day job Monday, after taking the last week and a half off. The first part of my time out of the office was dedicated to our annual Labor Day tradition of traveling to a group camp site for the long weekend. The trip, though cut short, really was lovely. I went into detail about the long weekend here. Since then, I have mostly just bummed around, but I did have a few accomplishments and activities to note.

First of all, this really was my first staycation! It was kind of weird at first, not having anything specific to do or to work on. Of course I could have filled my days up with planned activities or tasks to get done, but the point was to do the exact opposite. I had a few things I wanted to get done, like clearing off the ottoman in the living room and other little things that may not seem like large tasks, and yet somehow I just have a mental block sometimes. I did get that ottoman cleaned off yesterday. I also did a solid job swiffering the floors throughout the house, which was not planned, but very much needed.

Most of the time was for actually rest and recuperation, though. I went to float three days in a row. I took long walks with the dogs every day. I spent some quality time with my parents on a Thursday. I went to see a movie by myself at a theater in a part of town that used to be my local spot. And today, I got to have brunch with a good friend I hadn’t seen in more than a year. I feel full of love and gratitude for this vacation.

Am I ready to go back to work in the morning? No, not really. To be honest, I could use another 2-3 weeks to chill out a bit more. Last year when I took my STD leave for 4 weeks, I was barely hanging on and I have definitely been having similar feelings lately. There is just something especially unsettling now in the end of summer. This year, we were not subject to the amount and proximity of wildfires as we were in 2020, but the winds changed this weekend and we had extreme fire danger through the city. We thought the power company might have even shut off the electricity for a period of time, and they did in some parts of the region. With the poor air quality and the anxiety about the potential for anything to go up in flames at any time, this weekend was unnerving, more than restorative.

And then I start wondering whether I missed out on anything important at work. Maybe a swath of people were let go. Unlikely, but it could happen. Maybe we all got a huge bonus to compensate for our lack of annual raises for several of the last 10 years. A girl can dream, right? I’m sure I missed nothing of import, but then I guess I’ll just have to wait and find out tomorrow. It’s just that things used to be so much simpler and now it seems like everything is up in the air at all times; nothing is steady or reliable. I prefer reliability in at least one area of my life at a time, the more, the better.

The day job has not been where I go for reliability for several years now. Every day is a day I assume I COULD BE let go, for any or no reason at all. This isn’t just a pandemic thing either. Ever since out merger in 2013, the leadership has not been especially interested in projecting confidence in our stability. I think they must have decided we will be more motivated if we work from a place of insecurity and, at least in my case, but certainly others as well, this could not be further from the truth.

So I will rest tonight with the appropriate amount of anxiety, the anxiety to which I have become accustomed, in anticipation of what may or may not be in my inbox tomorrow morning. Good night, all.

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