It turns out that finding something to write about every day is really hard. Shocking, I know. You may have noticed (or, maybe not) that January 1-4 there was a new post here every day. I skipped yesterday, but I blame my participation with this tweet from Jehad.
Not really, I knew I wasn’t going to keep up posting every day. I had a lot of free time on my hands, especially after New Years Day. Today was the first day back to work after being off since December 20. The first half of this time was spent participating in, and in preparation of, the various holiday celebrations our family was invited to.
Not having work things rolling around in my brain, having ample downtime, gives me a chance to reflect on life. Which in turn prompted me to write them down. Lucky you. Going forward I hope to get at least a couple of posts done every week, for my benefit if anything. Three would probably be a stretch goal.
I take this time period off every year, or at least try to. When I worked for the university starting, in 2006, we just had this time period off as the campus was completed closed. Students didn't come back until around MLK Day, so even after returning to campus it was eerily quite, but gave us a couple weeks to catch up and finish any small projects and prepare for the spring semester.
Even the VAR that I worked for, it was expected that only a skeleton crew would be staffing the company the week of Christmas, and it was built into our company PTO schedule that we be off week. It sort of set a trend that with the exception of a couple years before my children were born, I’ve tried to keep.
I realize that I’m in a very fortunate position because of the type of work that I do, who I’ve worked for, and especially who I currently work for, that I’m not someone working on Christmas Eve, and rushing back to the office on December 26. The same thing on Thanksgiving.
I’m incredibly privileged, even living and working among “classically privileged” individuals. Hearing friends and family over the holiday struggle with things like managing vacation days, lack of maternity leave, losing benefits, pay issues, etc, I often bite my tongue and don’t allow myself to reiterate how generous VMware is in many of these areas, for fear of being seen as a braggart.
Sometimes I even check myself when it comes to internal conversations about these topics, and remind myself that even the most generous and well intentioned efforts are usually faulted when you’re forced to deal with the US medical system.
My aunt did ask me on Christmas Day if I had to use PTO in order to be off for so long, and I was forced to explain that VMware doesn’t track PTO time. Also, that my manager doesn’t have intimate knowledge of my daily or weekly routine.
All of this combined usually blows people’s mind, but I try to stay grounded about it, while pretending it will last forever.