Holding on

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Been a little over a week since the last post. Since that post, it seems I’ve had to enter survival mode. That might be a bit of a dramatic statement, but that is definitely the way it feels.

So, the Celebration of Life mentioned in the last post was nice. Still hard to believe and the grieving process moves in waves. Just when you think you have gotten past it and moved on, something triggers it. Not so much for me, but others in the family. I wasn’t as close as some.

The gathering of family and friends from near and far created a an issue that some probably foresaw or at least could have been predicted. As such, there were lots of people around and one (at least that we know of) tested positive the day after the gathering. Obviously, that means lots of people from all different places we in close proximity and exposure was inevitable.

Two people in the house now have tested positive. I haven’t yet, though the evening after I tested negative I got the chills really bad. However, I am pretty positive I am now positive. Waiting on more tests to confirm that, but it seems a logical conclusion.

It’s now been two miserable days of discomfort. But, so far I can say that this equals probably the worst cold I have ever had. I had Mono back in college – it almost feels like that.

Anyway, that’s the latest update. Hunkered down, trying to rest, work from home, and stay hydrated.

Long Break

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It’s been a while since I have written anything. Almost two weeks. This post likely won’t be all that profound, so don’t get all excited. I am not sure when the next post will be after this, but there will be more. Just things to sort out.

Last week was one filled with bad news. Sudden, unexpected, tragic death in the family. Shock. Disbelief. All those sorts of words could be used. Probably lots more.

Vacation to Arizona had been planned for months. It was going to be a time of relaxing and family visiting. Earlier this week, we left for Arizona. Only the relaxing and family time has been upended with stress, grieving, and uncertainty. Family we were coming to see is now broken and trying to hold it together. There is much to do while here and there is no relief for the weary. To end it all with a Celebration of Life, well, let’s say this is the worst vacation ever.

I have been sick with the flu or a cold the last couple days. Trying to power through it wasn’t working, so today was a rest day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Anyway, an explanation for the absence.

Hug your loved ones.

You never know when the last time is, indeed, the last time.

End nearing

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The end of the staycation is here. It seems like the week (plus) went to fast that it is hard to think it was a week. I had so many plans, so many projects to work on, so many things to…well, get done.

As I ponder the return to work tomorrow, I wonder if I should just relax today or use the day productively and end the week with a bang. I have a few more projects that need to be done, so I could work on those. I wouldn’t finish any of them, but at least I would have made a good start. OR…I could just use the day to relax and just shuffle some papers around, clean up the email and desk at home. I can’t really decide what I want to do today.

I was successful in knocking a couple of the projects off this list this week. It wasn’t like the vacation wasn’t productive. However, several planned projects that I would like done outside didn’t get done, but it is raining today and I don’t really feel like going out and getting wet and muddy. I have a few small projects in the house and garage that I could do, but the motivation seems to be waning today…

So, I think I’ll mix it up and do some relaxing and small things today. Nothing that requires a lot of effort. Mentally prepare for returning to work tomorrow.

Does anyone else like to have a “buffer day” between vacation and returning to work? I have discovered that I kinda like it and purposely planned it that way. It’s a good way to make that transition, I think. What do you think? How do you like to use the last day of your vacation?

Horizon gazin’

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I am finding myself not being too productive these days. Admittedly, I have a crapload of stuff to do at work and the list of “to do”s are adding up at home. It doesn’t really matter though. I am looking forward to the future and I have been diagnosed with “short-timer’s disease.”

That’s right! Vacation is on the horizon and the short-timer’s disease is real. The rest of this week and a half day next week is all that remains to arrive at the 7.5 day vacay. It’s been a long three months since the last one and I can’t wait to knock some things off the list at home.

Concentration, gone. Focus, kapoot. Productivity, none.

Anyone feel me? Anyone else seeing a vacation on the horizon and just want to check out of everything before it actually arrives? Who’s with me? Who is struggling to get there?

It’s on the horizon people. There is light at the end of the tunnel and that ain’t no train.

Anyway, just thought you should know, and be envious…

Not really doing anything special. I was supposed to be soaking up the sun and taking in some baseball in AZ, but the late arrival of Spring Training cancelled those plans.

So, stay-cation it is. I’ll try to find some balance between knocking off list stuff and having fun. We’ll see how that goes.

Truth be told, I’d rather be riding off into the sunset with the whole work thing, but I’ll setting for a vacation for now. I have my eyes on the horizon though. Keeping my head up…

Do I really?

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It’s been a week and a half of vacation and today is back to work. I am sure if you have been on vacation over the holidays, or even if you just had some extended weekends because of the holidays, your morning conversation with yourself went similarly to mine.

ALARM

“Ugh…I don’t want to get up. What happened to vacation?”

ALARM

“Seriously. Do I really need a job?”

SHOWER

“Maybe I can call in sick for one more day?”

DRESSING

“Pretty sure the next 17 years to retirement are going to suck…”

COFFEE

“I might make it through the day.”

EMAIL CATCH-UP

“Why did I get up today? Do I really need a job? Is there ANY possible way to retire early with minimal effort?”

Anyone else have this conversation with themselves this morning? Am I the only one?

Must endure

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The next three days will be a slog…gotta admit. Why? Well, there is a vacation on the horizon and not checking into work for the better part of nearly two weeks has got me excited.

Thus, I must endure the next several days.

This will be the first real vacation for me in quite some time. The last week of February this year, in fact. There have been days off here and there in between, but this will be the first extended time since then.

Anyway, just thought I would put out there that I am feeling a little “short-timer’s disease” and looking forward to some time off.

Anyone else taking time off during the holidays?

**Interesting note: when you type in “vacation” for the free pictures in Pexel, nearly all the pictures come up as tropical, sunny, and sandy…I must be doing my vacations wrong…**

Buffer

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I made a mistake. I think (at least I think I think) I knew better, but I ignored my better instincts that told me I should do something that I did not.

I should have left a buffer day between returning from vacation and going back to work.

This getting home late and then getting up early for work stuff is terrible.

Of course, now I am on the second day back at work but I can now see that yesterday was a terrible day. There was just too much to do on the personal side of things to get caught up on time to work on the work side of things too. That cause stress…probably self-imposed stress, but stress nonetheless.

I think it is smart to include that buffer day. A day to catch up on home stuff, ease back into the regular schedule, and mentally prepare for what is to come once back at work. I didn’t do the buffer day because I was trying to be frugal with the vacation days. Not that I have to be, that’s just the way I am.

Anyway, regular schedule is back in full swing and I am not fully adjusted. But, it is what it is.

Retirement looks better and better, 20 years from now…

The road seems so long.

Travel day

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The trip home will begin shortly and I don’t like using the app the write. So, I’ll update you on how the return home goes tomorrow.

I already know there will be a less comfortable trip based on an email I got a couple days ago…so there’s that to look forward to.

Catch ya tomorrow!

Tug-o-war

The tug-o-war is a struggle while on vacation. You are being pulled this way and that. You are torn between two sets of family who both have missed you, who have looked forward with anticipation to your arrival, and ultimately have planned out every waking moment of your visit.

Here in Arizona, there are two sets of relatives to visit – the inlaws and the sister-n-law’s family. When you only have a week during your vacation, your time has to be split between both and that is the challenge. How do you keep both happy and feel like you have spent enough time with both? In the end, someone is likely going to feel like they got the short end of the stick.

So, this vacation isn’t shaping up to be all that relaxing. It will be go go go the whole time and if it isn’t one it will be the other.

Yesterday’s adventure left out one family but it did have provide for a unique experience as there was a visit to a national park where wild horses roam free. There was a good chance the horses wouldn’t be spotted since they go where they please and one would never know where to find them unless you were in a helicopter looking for them.

Anyway, as it happens, we got very lucky and they were literally less than a hundred yards from us since they had come down to water at the river. A magnificent site they are! Kind of felt like the Old West for a moment. Just sitting there on the bank of the river, watching and listening as they did their thing. I am sure the horses probably feel the tug-o-war war between modern society and the quiet solitude of the wild, something they really have no control over.

Well, despite the push and pull of family obligations, this was a gratifying experience and I am thankful that I was lucky enough to catch this site on the very first visit.

“Walmart” of the sky

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It’s been a month since the last vacation. In the scheme of things that isn’t a whole lot of time, but I gotta say that taking a vacation once a month is kind of feeling nice. I wish it could happen again next month.

Anyway, I have flown two different airlines in roughly the last five weeks and it is interesting to see how they have handled (or are handling) the pandemic a year from it’s start. Yesterday’s trip was less fabulous than the first trip. Now, I have flown other airlines, but there are two that I fly that I have liked in the past and those are the two I tend to check first when looking for flights, Alaska and Southwest.

About a month ago, I was on Alaska. The plane are newer, and feel more spacious, even if they may not actually be. The crews were friendly but not overly friendly. The planes felt clean, given the current situation, and the flights were directly to the destination (going and returning). The service inside the cabin was good. Alaska served nearly their full complimentary menu, so a light snack and beverage of choice was available.

Yesterday, I flew on Southwest Airlines. Southwest took a direct flight to Phoenix and routed it through Denver. This notification came just four days after purchasing the tickets. So, a roughly three hour flight turned into an all day affair. I wasn’t real pleased about it, but what can you do once you have already purchased the tickets? The first leg of yesterday’s trip wasn’t too crowded. But the crew wasn’t very friendly and the plane didn’t feel all that clean. It probably was, but it likely also has something to do with the fact that Southwest’s fleet is aging. Also a surprise, the in-flight service. The voice over the intercom announced they would be service iced water and a snack.

That’s it. Essentially, you are getting “bread and water” for flying with us. They, of course, told us this was because of the “current situation in the world.”

The water was a plastic cup with ice and water in it. It wasn’t even bottled water! Wow! So, apparently it is safer to serve an open cup of water in the era of airborne viruses. Go figure!

I asked a buddy who works for Southwest about it, as I was a little taken aback for the lack of services considering the experience just a month prior on a different airline. His response, “Anything to save a buck. We’re basically the Walmart of the sky, so you can’t expect much.”

I guess that is probably about right. It was a cheap flight. The second flight was much more crowded, the “empty middle seat” for social distancing was not a thing on this flight, and the plane didn’t feel any cleaner than the first one.

All in all, it was just a flight to a destination but I have come to expect a little more than what we got yesterday, even for a discount airline.

Am I spoiled or have they set us up to expect more? I am not sure.