Vacation. It’s not something I do.

I am a creature of habits and routine. I don’t like my day job every day, but I do like the routine of it. I get there at a certain time, I eat lunch at a certain time, and I leave at a certain time – under normal circumstances those times don’t vary by more than five minutes, day to day. It’s comforting and stable.

We’re going on vacation…and not a weekend trip to Nebraska to visit the ol’ homestead, three hours away and as familiar to me as my own front yard. Not a four day weekend down secondary highways with plans to be back in time for work on Monday. No.

We’re going on Vacation. Capital “V”, italicized. Across the country to Oregon, more than thirty hours away. Four days out, three days there, four days back. The last time we did that was 2007, a trip along the Oregon Trail to Wyoming, then South to my sister’s place in Colorado. It was a long trip, but the destination was family.

When we finally get where we’re going, we’re staying with friends. When I was growing up, that wasn’t something we did. We went to visit family and stayed with family, but I can only remember once in eighteen years sleeping overnight at the home of someone I wasn’t related to.  This will be an adjustment: their routines are different from my routines. I’m trying hard to not get stressed about it. Thankfully, they eat much as we do, as naturally and locally as possible, so we don’t have to make any special arrangements for food.

Zen really helps, here: I’ve gotten very good at not worrying about something until I’m confronted with it. This is a skill that all Aspies and OCDs – hell, everybody needs to develop, in my opinion. Prepare, but don’t worry. (Easier said than done, I realize.)

There’s a little voice in the back of my head – a paranoid, whiny, annoying thing – that keeps whispering in my ear like Wormtongue, “…and are you so sure that your job will still be there when you get back?”*

Don’t misunderstand me: I’m looking forward to this trip, a lot. Past my eighth birthday, I’ve never been further North than Des Moines, or further West than the Eastern edge of Wyoming. I flew to California when I was thirteen, but that doesn’t count since I didn’t see any of the intervening country, which is kind of the point. This is an opportunity for input in a big way, and I’ve been needing a serious break for a while now.

We have a new (to us) van with a DVD player built-in for the kids, XM radio for Michelle and me. We’re going to see Mount Rushmore, pass within spittin’ distance of Devil’s Tower National Monument, Yellowstone, the Northern Rockies…it’s going to be very interesting and beautiful. Once there, lots of music (including studio time), and good friends.

* By the way, intellectually, yeah, I’m sure. It would be very hard to replace me, not because of my technical expertise – there are plenty of programmers who are more skilled than I – but because the learning curve on how to make all the many spaghetti’d systems play nice with each other would be extremely steep. I have little doubt that if I walked away this company would be a couple of months recovering…and our CFO is smart enough to realize that.



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