Vacation Time Again

I’ve always enjoyed taking a week off work in the first half of October, around Canadian Thanksgiving. For one, that’s the time when the autumn leaves are at their most beautiful, and for another, it is usually when Indian Summer comes — a few consecutive warm days in the low 20s C that come after the first killing frost, which we’ve had already this year. It’s the last period when one can travel by car and not have to worry about snow and nasty driving conditions.

Hence I am on vacation this week. Given that I’m pretty tired, I decided not to leave town as soon as my vacation started (yesterday), but I have determined that I must get away from Halifax in order not to be near a computer and work. So my plan is to visit Mom in Moncton tomorrow, then drive to the Lanaudière region of Québec Tuesday to visit Cleopatrick and his men for a few days, and then go spend Friday and Saturday in Montreal, which is about 1.5 hours away. Then I’ll start driving back to the Maritimes on Sunday; I may come right through to Halifax or stay overnight in Moncton, depending on how tired I am. I only start back work next Tuesday.

Last weekend I broke down and finally got what I’ve tried to put off for years: I got myself a cell phone. There have been more and more occasions lately when I wished I had one, like wanting to call ahead to say I’m late or to allow a few key people to locate me. I chose a minimalist plan with a tiny bit of long-distance calling, as I’m thinking that this will be an emergency phone more than anything else. I’ll only be giving the number to a select few.

I’ve come to appreciate down time much more with the new day job. I’ve noticed that I come back extremely refreshed even after a mere long weekend, ready to tackle just about anything. That’s good, because that thought alone doesn’t make the idea of going back to work on the 17th at all dreadful. Mind you, next I’ll be embarking in a good, long stretch without any vacation time, but there’s no point worrying about that. Instead I should think about how, during my trip to Toronto, I got a pretty good assurance that the project I’m on will probably last until this time next year, which is a good six months longer than the contract I signed. Additionally, I received a very good work evaluation for my supervisor on Friday, and she even went as far as saying that she hopes I’ll continue in some other capacity after the current project because “you’re precisely the kind of person we cherish in our organization.” Of course, I, myself, know I’ve made a few mistakes but none were noticeable or unfixable and thus haven’t been noticed, and really I haven’t royally fucked up even once. I guess that’s not bad for someone who knew next to nothing about financial services.

I know that by the end of this calendar year, although there will still be many question marks in my future, I will be in a far better position than I even dreamed I would be a year prior. The stress I experience now, although very real, is more manageable than the stress I used to have because my range of options back then was extremely limited and far more uncertain. The next level I have to reach is trying to give myself more leisure time as part of a well-balanced existence — and that certainly wasn’t a thought I could even entertain last Thanksgiving…

{2} Thoughts on “Vacation Time Again

  1. I’m glad it isn’t just me that is wary of long road trips in Canada after Thanksgiving. I’m planning an Ottawa/Montreal trip in November, and very briefly contemplated driving, before realizing that that would be encouraging the weather gods to smite me with a snowstorm in Edmundston.

    Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the break.

  2. No, it’s not just you. I’ve done my share of winter driving (around Christmas and in February), and it’s no fun. You just never know what to expect. Anyway, I sure plan to enjoy my break, so thanks, Matthew!

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