Thursday, August 16, 2007

Long vacations

Today I’ve return to my five-by-five cube after a ten day break from work. Some might call it a vacation, which technically three days of it were. The other seven days were split between sick days and parental leave. As a side note; if I ever run a company and have control over human resources, I’m going to recommend eight weeks paid leave for new mothers and two weeks paid leave for fathers – or secondary care keepers if we want to stay politically correct. My company gave me one week, which was a nice amenity and one I didn’t expect to be so valuable.

Anyway, I’m back today and melancholy. That is what long vacations do. After they are finished, you have to fight through the emotional letdown of being responsible again. I’m not purposing we rid ourselves of long vacations, but only making an observation.

If feeling melancholy after long vacations is the problem, what is the solution? I would argue the root problem is that you’re doing a job that isn’t exactly what you want to do. For example, I’m a software engineer. My long time employer treats me very good and I don’t really have any major complaints. However, my real goal is to eventually write for a living.

My assumption – one that could be wrong – is that if I was writing for a living, I would have jumped out of bed this morning and happily rode my bike to the office. An office with fresh coffee, no meetings, no managing “up” or managing “down,” no accountabilities other than the ones you set for yourself, and a door I can slam shut if people annoy me. Then again, who knows; maybe writing for a living has similar activities that make you look forward to your next long vacation. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to quantify that statement with experience.

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