I returned to work today after a 9-day vacation for the holidays. I always look forward to those "break" weeks every year, but every year, by the end of them I'm pretty much ready to go back to work.
It's not that I don't like being home, nor is it that I wouldn't like retirement. It's more a matter of having a more complete plan for the break than "writing as much as I can". That goes great for the first seven days, but after that, I get sort of lost.
This past break I binge-watched the Netflix series The Crown. Well, when I say binge-watched I mean a couple of episodes a day for a few days. Watching TV is something I rarely do except when I have nothing else better to do. This week seemed to be a good chance to knock some of them out. The thing is, I don't like myself when I do something this passive. It's not who I am. At the same time, I had to admit that it was a nice break from the things/goals I had set for writing and house projects.
The other thing I discovered is I have a bit of a vacuum obsession. I typically vacuum the whole house on Saturday morning, so it's always been my job. But when I'm around the house like every day is Saturday, I always see it as an opportunity to touch up the living room with a quick once-over with the Shark. I'm glad I know this obsession about myself, but it might be something to watch over time.
Dirty dishes in the sink is another habit I can't take too much of. All things must go in the dishwasher. So I scrape and rinse and load as I make them. It's not a bad habit, but again, something worth keeping in check.
I got some decent, normal, fun things done over break too - it wasn't all aprons and pearls. I managed to get to see the new Star Wars movie with my son, which was really good. I finished some poems and a bunch of edits as well as entering a few poems/books in contests and/or journals, and managed to get two late December bike rides of 10+ miles in. I slept in a couple of days and took an occasional nap as needed.
But it was a 9-day reminder that I need a plan for retirement - still a handful of years away - before I can safely say I'm going to retire and not drive my wife mad. I have lots of goals that way, guitar, fly fishing and maybe even pursuit of an MFA, but none of those are hobbies I much have time for until that day I hang up my real job.
So, while it was tough to go back to work today, in a little way, it felt pretty good.