Monday, August 30, 2010

Vacation Time Approaches

Early in the summer, my boss started telling me that I had a lot of vacation time to use, and that I should take advantage of it. I smiled and said "sure, I'll use it later in the summer".

I made no plans for taking time off. I just kept along my merry way, working hard, stressing myself out, having the occasional early-AM panic attack about my parents health (Note: Dad is now doing very well, his recovery has been going smoothly, although he claims to still be exhausted by the functions of daily life. But hey, recovery is an individual experience and relative process - if Dad feels like he's still recovering, who can argue?) but generally feeling like I had things under control.

But in early August, I started feeling tired all the time. And occasionally jumping at loud noises (I really wish I were kidding about that) and not feeling my usual cheerful self. Around this time, my boss casually mentioned my abundance of vacation time again. I started to think that maybe time off would be a good idea, after all.

So, despite the fact that I don't have travel plans, I'm taking five days off from work. If you include the Labor Day weekend, that will be seven days of vacation.

Or 'stay-cation'. Other than a day trip to Kings Dominion to conquer my fear of upside-down roller coasters, I have absolutely no idea as to what I'll do with my free time. Besides sleep, read and contemplate my navel. And clean my apartment.

What would you do if you had five days of completely free time and no obligations?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quote Of The Day

“Don’t agonize. Organize.”

~ Florynce R. Kennedy

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Loss

It should come as no surprise that someone who is an avid reader and writer has always loved English class. From 'reading time' in 1st grade to 'Shakespeare Interpretations' in graduate school, English class has always the one that I loved the most. I don't suppose I would have been an English major, otherwise.

As I've grown, learned (and explored the possibilities of writing in my career) there have been amazing teachers and mentors who have supported and guided me on the way.

One such teacher was Gary McCown. I took 11th grade English with him -- and I can honestly say that it was one of the hardest and most frustrating classes that I have ever had. He was adamant that we all speak in class discussions. He insisted that we take careful notes on everything he said -- which proved to be absolutely necessary if you wanted to pass one of his mind-wrenching exams.

But through that annoying, demanding year, Gary taught my classmates and I how to read the Bible as a piece of literature. He showed us the delicate nuances of argument. He would jump on tables when he got excited about a particular point, whether it was an argument made by Martin Luther King or something from Genesis.. He would make gyrating motions with his hips when we talked about sex scenes - especially those in the Bible that lacked any sexy descriptions whatsoever.

My senior year of high school, Gary offered to write one of my college recommendation letters. But first, he insisted that we sit down and talk at great length about what I intended to get out of my college experience. I don't remember what that discussion included, but I recall how thrilled I was to be interviewed by this dynamo of a man.

During college and after I graduated, whenever I would visit the high school (usually to pick up my sister), I would look for Gary. He was a fascinating character to me and I enjoyed our brief, eclectic conversations. He once suggested that I teach English at the school, "just until I sort things out" when I was job hunting, post-college.  After he retired, I saw Gary at both my 10th reunion and my sister's 5th reunion.

Gary and my sis

I found out this afternoon that Gary passed away a few days ago.  This is not the first of my mentors to 'depart this mortal coil', but it's one I feel enormously. 

(Please excuse errors that I would usually not allow in my writing -- this has shaken me quite a bit.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Guest Blogging is FUN

Happy Friday, everyone!

Since Emily Jane is off getting married and honeymooning (PS she DID win the contest! Good job, team!!!), she asked a few of her blogger friends if they would guest blog in absence. So, I suggested that my friend Michelle and I write a post together, and ... well, go see for yourself!

One On One

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Just a Quickie ...

(...that's what she said!!)

I'm in the process of investigating a move to a Wordpress website, making things fun and more interesting-looking for y'all, and somehow, that has tapped my creative energy.

Okay, that's only part of my excuse for not writing a long, more interesting post.  Because I do have things to share that are of greater interest and relevance to my life, so I'll just keep writing for a bit .....

I've joined a (paid) dating website. At my parents insistence encouragement repeated suggestion, and on their tab. Writing that profile for myself was one of the more challenging projects that I've had in a while. But it does seem to have garnered some interest, and I have two potential dates coming up.... well, we shall see. And I'll report back, never fear.

My father had minor surgery last Friday, and it has made me panic. Repeatedly. Despite the fact that it was a routine procedure and he's been recovering nicely so far (knock wood), the whole process has scared the hell out of me. Maybe it's the control freak in me; maybe it's facing the mortality of my parents; whatever the case, Dad has been in much better spirits than I've been.

I mentioned to my boss this week that perhaps I should take some time off this month, since I've had no vacation time. She completely agreed .... so now what?  Do I take a 'staycation'? Go somewhere by myself for a long weekend?

And... today is my Friday. I'm so glad it's almost the weekend.  I'm having dinner with good my dear friend L tonight, celebrating two birthdays tomorrow night ... AND PLAYING WITH MY NEW iPHONE THE REST OF THE TIME!

Hey, I wrote more than I thought I would. Cool.