I should be there.For the vast majority of my professional career I didn’t take vacations.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I took an entire week off of work and didn’t check e-mail or take phone calls.  Part of that we could call “dedication” and “loyalty”; part of it is a complete lack of any sort of work-life balance.  And a last part probably had something to do with the fact that I loved what I did, even if I needed out because I’d been doing it so long.

But regardless, the last time I took three days off (in a row) was something like four years ago when I took the kids to Disneyworld (or -Land; whatever’s down in Orlando) and the rest of Florida three days and a weekend.

So when the time came for me to pack my bags and turn off my office lights for the last time (December 31) I told myself I was going to take some time off.  I needed to decompress.  BIG TIME.  I needed to take some me time or – more appropriately – some not-me-at-work time.

I figured my day would go something like this because – after all – I am on a vacation:

  1. Wake up at noon, get a couple-mile run in and finish building my Arnold-Schwarznegger-sized biceps at the gym (and by “finish” I mean “call Lance Armstrong to see where I can get some PEDs so I can start” … too soon?).
  2. Grab some breakfast (involving bacon, I’d imagine, which will surprise exactly one of you people reading this).
  3. A good half hour of perusing the social networks to see what fun stuff is happening – I do have awesome friends, after all (even if two of the funner ones eschew the whole Facebook experience – I think they just hate cats).
  4. After that there would be at least an hour of bleaching-of-the-eyes and therapy for reading some of the stuff that people posted on Facebook – you can’t have #3 without this unless you’re a confirmed psychopathic killer.
  5. After that I’d probably need a nap (I’m a fan of naps) so I’d curl up with a nice warm blanket and grab a power nap (if you define a “power nap” as an hour and a half of pure unconscious bliss, wrapped in the soft arms of a flannel cloud).
  6. When I woke up it would be time to scan the blogs and see what insight my fellow bloggers have for me to be inspired from: Sarah, Eric and Teresa.
  7. Then it would be dinner followed by at least an hour of music training so I can actually beat Paul, Cindy and Farmer at guessing songs at music bingo on one card that’s not all country and 2000’s TV shows (because I’m pretty sure I get a Pauly-Pity-Card like that only once a season).
  8. After that it would be Munchkin, blackjack or poker with the kids, probably followed by getting eaten by creepers in Minecraft.
  9. Then it would be either basking on the sands of Volleyball Beach (assuming it was suddenly 70 degrees in January and Howard didn’t call the cops on me if I climbed the fence again), riding the bike or writing an incredibly witty post here at The Paul Gillespie Experience.

That was roughly how I imagined my day would go while I was on my two-week hiatus from the world of the employed.  At the end of the day I’d fall backwards onto a sheet of satiny awesomeness and close my eyes, starting the refresh so I could be awesome again the next day.

Reality: not so much.

Because I’m just glutton for punishment I actually haven’t taken a single day off.  I’ve taken parts of the day off (like sleeping in until 9:30 – yay for me), but I’m still spending way too much time on work-related things.  I’ve taken a few side programming jobs on which are eating up hours upon hours of my day.  And job hunting is not as easy as it sounds (and it doesn’t sound easy at all) – my resume, besides having more dust on it than a Kenny G album, was still in the “Crappy Rock Band”  format (scary visuals, lots of words and yet nothing that makes any sense).

I’ve been falling apart here on blogging and haven’t spent nearly as much time with the kids as I was hoping to.  And I’ve got so much stuff churning around in my mind right now I’m pretty sure my brain is becoming butter.  Which might explain the wicked case of insomnia every couple of days where I can’t actually fall asleep until 2 or 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, despite going to bed around 10:30 or 11.

On the plus side I did finalize the rough design requirements on a couple of mobile apps I’ve been working on (one Barney Stinson would be proud of; the other Napoleon Hill would grab) and have a number of good prospects for my next career move working.

Right now I’m sitting here at The Roasterie drinking coffee (shocker) and getting ready to finish up one of those programming projects I was talking about before doing a little research on a couple of companies and making a call to a recruiter (who I went to high school with – small world!).

Wish me luck – back to slackin’.

(post image courtesy of Photokanok)

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