“Busy; but never precocious”

I am about a week away from two weeks of planned leave from work. It’s my “Birthday Time off” which conveniently lands near Memorial Day Weekend. I feel like I planned it in early January when I got more familiar with my workplace’s “Use or Lose calculator” which calculates the amount of Annual Leave you have to take (or donate) by the end of a given year lest you ‘lose’ it. I chose two weeks because I was also seeing lots of “Hey, take time off, lots of it, burnout is a real thing and it’s actually harder to distance yourself from work if you work remotely” communications from work, alongside lots of top-down “if you ask for leave you’re not going to experience pushback.”

Because I took two whole weeks, and because I didn’t want to plan anything super-extravagant, I figured “I should do a road-trip” and the place that seemed the best was Austin/Dallas because it’s at the edge of day-trip limits and I had multiple people I knew there but usually only talk to via the Internet. All I had to do was contact them and plan out the schedule.

That trip has since been cancelled. Turns out a nasty side-effect of burnout, is that the amount of energy that needs to go towards “work” stuff (communicating with multiple people about complicated processes with shifting schedules and to try and find the thing that works best for everyone) is low and not replenishing quickly. Thus, I would spend my energy doing work things… and then sit down to look at maps and hotel pricing and reach out to people and feel in my bones that I wanted to do ANYTHING else. When my husband asked me reasonable questions like “Well, what do you want to do when we’re not hanging out with people, as there are some big gaps marked as ‘free time’, because if we don’t have a loose plan we tend to go stir-crazy and get cabin fever.” I would get snappish and super-defensive.

The other thing I’m noticing is that a bunch of people are going through the sorts of experiences in Spring/Summer 2022 that we had when we attended Dragon*Con in Summer/Fall of 2021: Going to these big conventions and trips hoping for the carefree experiences they had pre-covid… and instead realizing all the indignities they were used-to pre-covid (traffic, grumpy/overworked/burnt-out volunteers/staff, bathrooms-that-are-not-yours, kitchens that are not yours, the ‘I’m hungry but I don’t want to eat that’ dance, and the ‘wait, where is my ID/Vaccination/Multipass’ dance) are back and worse. Add to that my usual raging anxiety and Covid-19 being the complimentary con crud, and I figure it’s best for me this time to “staycation” and “not add to the problem”. While I’m slinging cliche’s, let me also toss in “I don’t want my lack of planning to be other people’s emergencies.”

But hey, it’s gonna be two weeks off. And if I’m in a mode where I just need to not plan to do anything and maybe just go walk myself around in nature and find better ways to self-sooth my anxieties without making it everyone else’s problem… so be it.

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