Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Staycation

For the one or two of you out there who aren't familiar with the aforementioned term, a staycation is basically a vacation spent away from work at home. Now, I've had a lot of experience with those kind of vacations over the years, simply because I can't co-ordinate the time and money at the same time. So for the past five years (or is it nine? no wait, it's four, 'cause I actually took a honest-to-good real vacation in '08. don't believe me? check out the year 2008 on this blog, circa late August), all of my vacations have been spent at home, and up until this year, none have been longer than three days.

This year though, things have been radically different. Because I work in the public sector, I don't have to use my vacation time within the calendar year, just like you have to do in your job. I can roll over the days that I earn (currently stands at 1 1/4 days per month, or 15 days per year) into the next year. The only drawback that I have, is that I have a cap of 60 days. In other words, I can carry up to 60 days of vacation time. Problem with that is, if I don't use any of that time and stay at that cap, I can't earn any more time until I get under the cap.

Yes, you can now hurl any insult that you wish to hurl, if only to make yourself feel better. They won't bother me 'cause I've heard them all from my co-workers. So there, nyah.

So what I did for this year, was to plan out mini-staycations for April and May, and one very long one for June. That way, I can earn my accruals and not have to worry about taking time off until, say, October.

And because I'm such a conscientious worker, I actually made sure that all of my vacations were scheduled for an off pay week. That way, no one would have to spend time covering all four of my payrolls plus tuition reimbursement.

So I'm sure you're asking yourself, or rather, asking this blog, "What does all of this big backstory drop have to do with today's post?"

Lots.

For instance, I'm smack dab in the middle of a very nice and very well deserved staycation from work. For those of you who have been following this blog, you know that I've gone through very public phases of burnout over the years, and yet, I haven't really done anything of note to rescue my sanity from that burnout. So I decided way early in the year, to take one actual vacation this year.

June 8th thru the 13th. Four glorious days off with pay, six days off overall. And what have I done so far during my staycation?

First off, I did a lot of exercise, using this infernal contraption:


Yes, I did a boatload of bicycling, mostly around the southern end of town, and as hard as it is to believe, no accidents or wipeouts. However, I did acknowledge the fact that being fat (170lbs) and riding a bike uphill, was not good. In fact, the exact phrase that I used to any passerby I happened to see was this:

It sucks to be fat.

But, and this is a key but, I can outlast my lazy son when it comes to doing anything of consequence, broken body and all. Walking or riding, I'm better than him. End of discussion.

Secondly, I made a serious attempt at cleaning out my den. My den is actually a converted junk room. I'm actually at a lost for words to describe my actual work area, if you can believe that. Anyways, there was soooooooooooooooo much junk in the den that it took me and my wife an hour just to clear out a one and a half foot wide by twenty feet long space for me to use. The eventually goal is to clear out enough of the crap so that I can make it into a proper office for myself. Some day I'll tell everyone how much crap is actually in here, but for now, just take my word this space is very unorganized.

Thirdly, besides finding time to write and schedule a week's worth of blog posts for the first time in months (got it made 'cause I got three upcoming guest blog posts next week for everyone), I was able to make a very serious dent in re-writing an old short story of mine. Funny how when you finally find a ungodly chunk of time to write, it actually becomes fun to do. Imagine that, something that you like doing becomes fun again. I also dug out an old partial short story that I had stashed away on my clipboard and stuck it on my computer, because I got to thinking about writing another quirky horror story, and this one just might do the trick.

Finally, I got to enjoy the luxury of just goofing off for the week. No responsibilities to deal with, no time constraints to work with or work around, not even worrying about having to do any kind of heavy grocery shopping for the week, 'cause I ain't at work. I sat outside, got some serious sun, watched the birds, and basically just emptied my brain and acted like any other brainless twit that one comes across during their daily wanderings. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones who act stupid 24/7/365. I decided to be one of those. And more importantly, I haven't watched any television this week. How cool is that?

Anyways, I though I would spend a little time rubbing in the fact that I'm on vacation from work this week and I'm enjoying every blessed minute of being off work with pay. In spite of the hard concrete reality that I'm actually paying myself to take time off from work with pay. You know, taxpayer's tax dollars pays the salaries of public employees. I'm a taxpayer, ergo, my tax dollars are paying my salary.

I live you with this witty little ditty from Mungo Jerry:

20 comments:

  1. Now THAT'S a good staycation! Hey, did Mungo Jerry ever have another hit?

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  2. I'm off to look up state job openings. :)

    Sounds like a lovely time off, G!

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  3. 170 is FAT??? Are you 5'0"???

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  4. Hey, sorry I didn't make it out there but we will reschedule! Glad you have some time off. I supposed I'm on a staycation myself.

    Glad you are biking - Mr. RK huffed and puffed at first but really has grown to like it.

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  5. Debra: I have very few staycations. Most of my vacations have been the garden variety working vacations.

    I would venture to guess that they didn't. Back in the 70's most pop/rock bands were into making 45's and the majority of them became one hit wonders.

    Lynn: You just might find a good one to match your talents. :D

    It has been most definitely. Haven't felt this relaxed in quite some time.

    Bearman: Actually, I'm 5" 5', thus 170 is about 45lbs over the proper weight limit for my height.

    M: After a five year hiatus, the first time out was an adventure. In addition to wiping out, my asthma kicked in something fierce as my body wasn't used to that kind of exertion.

    I have no doubt that we will be able to hook up in the near future. Sometimes one's well being is more important than doing anything else.

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  6. I have been on a staycation since September, 2000. It's called retirement:)

    You seemed to have made better use of your time during your staycation than I have on mine.

    I'm off to find out what happened to Mungo Jerry. What a scary looking dude...but that keyboard player is hot.

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  7. Thank you for rubbing in the fact the you actually get some vacation days...I was robbed of my 2 weeks vacation! Now having to go more than a year without a single day off...with pay! Other than holidays!

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  8. G.A.: I suppose one could call retirment a permanent staycation. :D

    I decided that this time, I would make concentrated effort to enjoy myself during my vacation, and so far, I have.

    Yeah, that lead singer is scary indeed. :D

    Dan: I'm sorry about that. I normally don't rub it in, 'cause my immediate co-workers have just about zippo for time and I really do feel for them.

    But to slightly add insult to injury, we still have employees who aren't retired yet, who started working for the state prior to June 30, 1977 and thus, their vacation cap is 120 days.

    And of course, our overpaid managers have the same kind of vacation cap as well.

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  9. I am so glad Staycation has become acceptable. it's my favorite way to do it.

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  10. Charles: There was no other choice but for it to become acceptable. With the economy still doing a kamikaze dive, people like us had to make our dollars stretch until they screamed in agony.

    And like you, it's my favorite way of taking a vacation as well. :D

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  11. Goof off, G. You deserve it!

    Hubby and I are currently on a week-long staycation. We've got roofers coming and lots of things to do in the garden and we've already taken an spontaneous day trip. I like letting the days unfold and not knowing what they will hold (no rhyming intended) :)

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  12. Talon: It's been a pretty interesting staycation for me. Got lots of bike riding, some writing in, and basically hung around the house not doing much of anything.

    I did have something planned to do with the wife, but other things have gotten in the way, so it'll have to be put on the back burner for now.

    But for the most part, I have definitely been able to recalibrate and decompress 100%

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  13. Sounds like you are having a ball! I wish I could sit out in the sun, but it hasn't stopped raining here in the UK for about 2 months.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your break and continue to out ride and walk your son! :D

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  14. Joe: Thanks. :D

    It's actually the most relaxed I've been in quite some time.

    Not sure how much I'm gonnna get in on this last day since it's currently downpouring today.

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  15. Good for you being better than the boy!
    I think aging has something to do with the drive to get the "Giddy-up in your Get-a-long." I told a young, slow girl at work that not having that was her problem...

    I ran out of time again this week to fix my bike tire. New bike, a short-sized one from MB who was given it but is too tall. Still need a helmet tho. Hope the car doesn't break down as soon as it gets done. I'd like to avoid puddle riding to work after dark.

    I always have staycation. I just want to sleep. Asked for 2 days this week (they owe another weeks) n they said no! Plus none allowed from July until Sept. So I got scr*w*d.

    Looks like you Made Hay too! Bet they won't let you take the 60 days at once because no one else can do payroll!
    Enjoy the rest of your free week!

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  16. Snaggle: That certainly does suck about your job. I can understand it being extremely busy during the summer, but your bosses should realize that burnout doesn't make a good work policy.

    I basically exchanged walking for bike riding. Lot easier on the body and I can explore my town a little more than normal.

    And the only way I can take those vacation days all at once is if I had a serious long term illness. Then I can I get paid for it.

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  17. I definately wouldn't mind a staycation from school, thats for sure.

    Sounds like you had a great time!

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  18. Catherine: I tell ya, for the first time in about four years, I was really able to de-stress and decompress from the realities of the day.

    I wouldn't mind doing it again next year.

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  19. Ah yes, there's nothing like a good staycation. Good for you for spending it doing virtuous things like exercising and cleaning!

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  20. S.R.: Scary, isnt' it?

    To use vacation time to do mundane things that you should do within your day-to-day existence.

    Just the same, it was very relaxing to spend time doing frivolous things.

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G. B. Miller

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