Summer vacation. Say it aloud: Summer vacation. It has all sorts of satisfying noises in it, especially for someone who hasn't been able to take one in twenty years.
Twenty years, you ask?
Twenty years. In an industry with a 'peak season' during the summer. At companies with something called a 'vacation blackout period'. There was one week in July of 2004 when I took off and was allowed because, given the client I was dealing with, if I didn't get away from my desk for a week I was going to appear on the news walking meekly before a Delaware state trooper after a multi-hour standoff during which I would have simply broken a few of my boss'Lladro figurines and demanded a cheesesteak on a decent roll before dissolving into exhausted sobbing.
My first couple of weeks of unexpected vacation were a bit of an activity-filled blur. I disseminated resumes almost immediately, but the first week was our fire department carnival, so my idle time was spent avidly scrubbing the smell of fried peppers and onions and funnel cake out of my hair and lamenting the failure of modern dentistry in this part of the world. I cleaned a few things, sorted a few things, signed up for some volunteer work, started the networking process that will land me my next job, and finally, finally stopped and took a breath.
I'm loving the quiet. Just the clean quiet of an afternoon. The hiss of wind in the trees. My backyard is beautiful and I stopped seeing it; flying home between this and that and only allowing myself to be annoyed by the incessant barking of dogs. I'm soaking up this respite, this rest between measures. I know the music will take up again soon enough and I don't want to waste this.