I have been (mostly) out of the office over for the Christmas & New Year’s holidays and thinking about the permanent vacation I am planning on embarking on in just a few months. As such, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I have been spending my days as you could think of these two weeks as a bit of early retirement “practice”.
Here are a few observations on how I have been spending my time:
- Not Bored, Not Once – I never felt like there has been nothing to do. In fact, I made precious little progress getting to many of things I wanted to. The holidays bring their own busy with them, but I really thought I would getting more done than I have.
- Days & Nights Mixed Up – I am more of a night person than my career allows. When on break for the holidays, I have alternated between staying up late and going to bed on work time. The problem has been mixing the two up. I have infrequently made my target of getting up between 7:30a – 8:00a. Once last week I slept until 10am in the morning.
- Read Zero Books – I have a whole stack of books I’ve been setting aside over the last 18 months that I would be really excited to read, but I have only skimmed a couple chapters of one so far. Typically I read business books or magazine articles, but would really enjoy digging into my pile of history, biographies & fiction. (I did have some work reading to do)
- What Workouts? – When I get 50+ hours a week back from work in April, I need to put fitness near the top of the list as I reallocate my lifestyle. My wife sets a good example – going to the gym/working out 7-8 hours a week. As of today, I have only hit my 10,000 step daily goal 3 times over 10 days. That will have to change.
- New Hobbies – I will give myself some points for making my wife a terrific birthday dinner (seared scallops with pasta & broccoli), but I haven’t broken much new ground in pursuing new passions. I suppose that’s a lot to expect with 10 days out of the office. Mostly, I found time for pursuing some old passions – which unfortunately for my fitness includes sitting on the couch watching sports, enjoying movies, or surfing the web.
- Frequently Tired – I’m surprised how tired I’ve been over the holiday break. I think this is a three-headed monster: 1) I haven’t been drinking nearly any caffeine (I usually have a 20oz Coke Zero at work in the afternoon); 2) I’ve been a bit sick with a head cold severe enough to keep home at least one day; 3) when you don’t have to be anywhere, it easy to convince yourself a nap would be a great thing.
- Still Productive – I did make progress on quite a few things that needed doing. We planned out a lot of our current basement remodeling project, I worked with our financial advisor & tax person on some important planning, and we started making 2016 travel reservations (I’ll post on that later). This was on top of several days of Christmas shopping, wrapping & planning. Tis’ the season for keeping busy so many ways.
Everyone will be back at MegaCorp full-time next Monday 1/4. Then the office hours of meetings & more meetings will rev up again. Until then, I still have four days to enjoy having my schedule to myself. I think the best part of holiday break is doing what I want when I want – without thinking about what needs to be done at work tomorrow, the next day and next week. Even the work that I am catching up on can be done at my pace and not driven by meetings & presentations.
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