Even though I'm resigned to all of my project schedules being jacked up and even though I know I'll get paid (eventually), it isn't a vacation. My next paycheck is definitely not coming on time.
Do you know what it's like to be handed a letter telling you that for the foreseeable future, you will not be working? Through no fault of your own, no less. Last Tuesday, I threw on a pair of jeans (because, why bother?), stopped by a bakery for cinnamon rolls and met my colleagues at the office. The mood was alternating between shock and anger. You see, we've been up against the deadline a couple of times in the last few years. At least two times we have had, or at least our upper management has had to start preparing for the possibility of work stoppage. Every time, nothing has happened. Someone has pulled a fucking rabbit out of the hat, and life goes on. In fact, one of the times it got so close that we were told to be ready, and I can clearly recall thinking "Fuck, just furlough us already and get a real budget passed, I'm sick of this shit". That time, it didn't happen. It wasn't until Monday afternoon that I realized this was for real. But you see, they brought us to the brink before, and I figured that it was just a bunch of blowhards doing what they do best. Being blowhardy. Wow, was I wrong! Once I signed my furlough letter, changed my outgoing message, locked up my computer, and left work, I had no idea what to do with myself. All day, I felt stunned and angry. I think now back to my quotable quote, and I wonder why I can't just pretend like this is a vacation.
Because it's limbo.
S's work-life ticks on. Baby X is a kid who likes routine, so I'm not messing with it too much. I went to yoga, managed to teach an extra Jazzer.cise class, and have been trying to stay on top of the housework so that our weekends feel a little freer. I took care of our volunteer work checking up on trees that had been planted last spring, and spent an hour walking the dog around the neighborhood as I did it. I dusted off my road bike for a short ride (ow, it's been since August!). Plus it was really nice earlier this week, so I kept X home and we went to the zoo :)
I could be learning Spanish like I told myself I would, via Rose.tta stone, with the license I already paid for. I could be brewing beer, like I declared I would when my work-world shut down. I could be learning lots of new routines for my classes or cleaning up the front yard, pruning, clearing, and thinning the various plants that haven't gotten much love this summer. I could be hiking, enjoying the crisp fall air in the mountains.
But, then there's laziness rearing it's head, and TV at my fingertips whenever I want it. There's been a fair amount of sitting on the couch and falling down the rabbit hole for a couple of hours. Plus, I hate hiking by myself. I get bored.
I get to the end of the day, and have to state to myself (and S) the number of things I accomplished so that I don't feel guilty for not checking every last item off my list. S doesn't care what I get done or not get done. In fact, he's wishing he were in my spot. He'd be mountain biking every day sans crowds. He'd be taking the dog and X to the park every day. He'd be hiking. He'd be playing.
I still feel like I need to be working. If I have this unexpected "gift" of time off, I see it as an opportunity to accomplish all the crap that lingers on and on and on and never gets done. Personality differences I guess.
I'm ready for this so-called "vacation" to be over.