Sunday, 9 August 2015

Vacation, Vacation, Vacation!

The word of the week is edification.

August 3 – Catchup

Life is going well.

For those of you haven't been keeping up to date on the blog, I am far happier these days than I have been for many years, professionally and personally.

Professionally, my job is a good balance of challenge and stress without necessitating overtime or me taking anything home with me after clocking out. No after-hours phone calls or evening work. It's been a wonderful experience and seems to keep getting better month-to-month in terms of the quality of people that I'm working with and the overall office environment.

Personally, I met a wonderful woman last year, who became close to me three months ago and since then we've been spending the majority of our free time together. Both of us are constantly surprised by all the different things that we find we have in common, every time we see each other. I never thought I would have this kind of connection with someone and it's a uniquely precious thing, indeed.

If you would've told me a year or even six months ago that I'd be feeling the way I do right now, I'm not sure I would have believed you. It's been an extraordinary change for me, though not one that I feel I am incapable of experiencing fully; quite the contrary.

I'm fully committed to enjoy my life as it is now and making it better every day.

August 4 – Writing Weekend, Weekday?

My job does have its upsides, more often than I give it credit for...

Today, for instance: it’s my EDO( Earned Day Off )so it meant that I had a four days off, the first long stretch in quite some time for me. While some people are tempted to take their EDO’s on Mondays or Fridays, I've been quite happy so far with having a Tuesday off every other week.

It's meant that I have a day where I can get around town to do what I need to do or just relax: it's my choice. Strange thing is, I don't sleep in anymore: having acclimated myself to getting up early for work, I do so even on my days off. I don't see this as a bad thing, it just means that when I'm not working I have to ensure I don't waste the morning, this time is fairly precious these days.

In combination with the holiday yesterday, I ended up with a four-day weekend which helped contribute to reducing my stress levels. I've been giving serious thought to finding a hammock, but given that I don't have anywhere to put it that's in any way private save hauling it to Beacon Hill Park, it's only a passing fancy for now.

Today’s EDO also meant that I could get a good chunk of writing done and I did, completing an entire chapter by late evening which was extraordinarily satisfying. As my game plan for the next few months is to try to complete at least two chapters a week on average, I am pleased that today was added to that total.

It was especially satisfying that I didn't have to summon the energy after working, either.

August 5 – Two Rooms and a Cubicle

What sort of spaces do you inhabit?

I've spoken on this topic before, where people need three spaces: work, home and somewhere in between – wherever that is. For me, that would be a room that's isolated enough from the outside world that I can write or relax in equal measure, but I don't have that where am right now.

What I do have is my work and my home. At work, I have my own corner workspace, probably the best I could hope for without having an actual office which I’d likely have to share with someone.

At home, I have my sleeping space and the living room, where I have my computers and entertainment devices. It’s a shared space though, so in addition to keeping it tidy I have to fairly frequently give it up to my sister’s use, which isn’t always convenient for us.

Hence the need for third place, which I've yet to establish. The SkyLounge is nice, but I have to bring everything I need with me and there's always the possibility of someone else climbing up those same stairs to try to enjoy the same solitude that I want to use – not ideal, that.

I've no real solution at this time, so while I'm thinking about it, I'll leave you with this: a virtual tour of the ISS in orbit around our planet. They really know how to make use of limited space!

August 6 – Scared of Smart?

Someone called me a genius today and I wasn't sure how to take it.

It was at my writing group and during the discussion, one of the regular members came right out and said that they considered me to be a genius. I was a little taken aback and I immediately downplayed the compliment, which in hindsight perhaps wasn't the best thing for me to do - from or them.

All my life, I've been told repeatedly how intelligent I am. I know I'm smart, real smart, but in ways different than people who can do logarithmic math in their head while chewing gum. 

I think is that I'm just not comfortable with people calling me a genius, which to me seems like an ego trip… and I don’t have an ego, or at least a palpable sense of pride without cause.

There are many quotes on genius out there, so many that it's hard to really wrap your brain around what the word really means. As I've shown above, for today's entry I've gone back to the Latin root where genius is associated with the creative spark. I think I'm pretty comfortable with that definition, as it doesn't posit a sort of hyper-intelligence but rather one that looks deeper into things to find associations that others miss and to express them creatively in new ways.

Add a sense of humility to it all and I think I'm good with that definition, for now.

August 7 – Beer Bleh

After work today, I went out to the Yates St. Taphouse to celebrate the end of a long week, having two pints with my sister over a nice meal.

Apparently that wasn’t a good idea.

By the time 8pm had rolled around, I’d managed to develop a headache, which was confusing to me. By all accounts, two beers shouldn’t have done a thing to me, but for whatever reason they combined with the weather change to make my head complain somewhat moderately. Not enough to derail me for the night, but enough to make it uncomfortable to do more than simple tasks and light reading. Frustrating but not debilitating, thankfully.

Over the last month, I’ve had more to drink on average than usual, so again that’s been somewhat confusing, in that I haven't felt any ill effects prior to today. Certainly not from two beers.

What it did do is convince me not to have anything to drink this week coming up. In addition to saving you money, it will ensure that I have a clear head as well as give my liver break from any sort of alcohol processing. What with all the weather changes we've been having this last month, it's probably a good idea.

You could say I'm trying to get 'ahead' of the game.

August 8 – Let The Vaykay Begin!

I woke up this morning and I was on vacation!

To be specific: I have 10 days of vacation time to enjoy, going back on the 19th of this month. Which is great, as I only have a three day workweek and then it's the weekend again…

I really do love my current job for this sort of thing: not having to slog through week after week, hoping for holidays that I don't have to work and too-short vacations that seem so incredibly far away.

Nope, I have to say I'm pretty happy with how things are set up right now. Especially as I making use of my vacation time to pursue the creation of my novel trilogy. I can't imagine sitting on my butt for an entire week doing nothing, though perhaps swinging in a hammock with a stack of unread books next to me does have a certain appeal to it.

Still, I'd rather be writing my own books at the moment.

This time next year, I hope that I'll be able to afford to go somewhere nice with my girlfriend. My first choice would be to head back out East to visit friends and family, as it's been a few years. Next might be somewhere like London or Paris, though I wouldn't mind seeing Australia and New Zealand to do the Lord Of The Rings Tour… g33ky, I know, but then so’s my girlfriend…

One thing I'm very happy about is that I'm not needing to escape. By that I mean that I don't need to use my vacation to ‘run far and fast’ away from my job in order to keep my sanity:

What I do I know right now is that I am extremely happy to be on vacation, where my time is my own to do with as I please. I'll be making the best use of it possible while still finding time to relax for a few hours every day…

After all, vacations are about enjoying yourself, right?

August 9 – B5 and My Book

Settling in for a few hours down at Moka House this afternoon, I managed to read a fair number of chapters from my second books first draft. I took the step of converting the document to an e-book, so that I can easily read it on my tablet or phone. This is important so that I can should familiarize myself with the entire set of chapters as I've written to date, to better dive back into the story I've created so far without having to carry awkward piles of papers around with me.

My girlfriend and I spent the evening watching a few episodes of Babylon 5. We're working our way through the DVD sets and this week were up to the second season, which is when the action really starts to get rolling. It's a shame that the DVD transfers have such terrible conversions for the CGI, but it's more than made up for by being able to watch it with someone who appreciates the show as much as I do. It makes each episode all the more special and they feel like new again.

One thing I will be doing on my vacation is resting up, physically. It's frustrating that both my arms and my legs hurt, though in different ways. My arms you probably already know about from years past, but the leg thing is really proving to be worrisome to me, as the muscles still hurt over a months now after riding my bike for an hour around town. This is on top of my right leg's knee tendon still being swollen on a regular basis, a year and a half after I injured it all running briefly one day.

What's frustrating is that I have to wait until September to find out if I have specialist appointment with a physiologist, who hopefully will be able to shed some light onto whatever the heck is going on. Until then, I'll be taking it easy, not riding my bike anywhere this summer and ensuring my walks are not so extended that I aggravate whatever is going on.

It's maddening to be afraid of hurting yourself just by doing everyday activities. Then again, if all I'm doing is working in an office daytime and writing otherwise, that's not too bad.

Tomorrow's Monday, not a holiday and yet I still get to do whatever I want while still getting paid for it. Such is the power and pleasure of vacation and I intend to make the most of it this week and part of next week, too. I have enough to occupy me all my waking hours for the next 10 days and while I don't plan on enjoy myself to exhaustion, I do plan on making the best use of my time off so that I can go back to work with the feeling of accomplishment when it's all said and done.

**blog edited AGAIN for silly voice-recognition-induced errors on Aug.11th 9:55am PST. Sheesh!