Winter Break Limbo

The third-year dossier is edited and off to the committee; the last talks got talked; grades are posted. Haven’t quite started working in earnest on Spring semester yet, and I’ve set aside my writing until Tuesday.

I’ve written before about the struggle to take time off during holidays. And I’m getting better about not expecting to get a ton of work done over break. I never do as much as I think I will, and just end up feeling guilty and exhausted when Spring semester starts up again.

But what the heckĀ are you supposed to do instead?

I know I’m not the only person who’d probably be better off in a medically-induced coma between the end of the semester and the joint meetings. This year I’ve:

This is definitely the office floor of a well-adjusted person who knows how to take a vacation.

  • baked about a bajillion cookies
  • replaced the old insulation in our crawl space
  • made 5 pounds of kishka
  • watched a probably pathological number of period dramas
  • tore down and rebuilt our broken electric piano

I haven’t finished all the other non-work stuff I thought I’d tackle: the pile of books, the unfinished projects, the community and household organizing, the couple dozen open tabs in my browser. There’s still a few days. I give it even odds.

Why does this job, where you set your own hours more than any other salaried position I know of, attract people who don’t do well when they’re not on a schedule? And what good is it to say you’re taking a week off work if you just turn around and drive yourself crazy overdoing everything else instead?

Does anyone have advice for what to do when you’re off the clock? For how to take a vacation without necessarily leaving town?

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