On Friday I was awarded another contract that presently runs through December 31 and may be extended through 2016 if all goes well and the need continues on their end. There was a minor freak-out associated with that, because I had submitted my proposal via email just before 9 in the morning and received a phone call and email accepting it less than 3 hours later. Seriously? Who does that? They do, apparently, and I was pleasantly surprised. I like a client who can make a decision quickly.
While my plan had been to get C started part-time on or about October 1, we are both excited that she will have to start sooner, like Tuesday. There is a significant amount of prep work for this job that needs to happen before September 4, so while I am mostly on vacation she will be doing any/all data entry and clean-up.
I was worried about this unexpected condensed timeframe (originally the start date was October), but with C available to help me I can comfortably manage the work coming in and going out. She is very excited about the opportunity as well, so in theory I should be able to go away without too much fear or anxiety about something going wrong. In my experience such theories are usually wrong.
This time, though, I am not especially worried and I do not completely understand why. Maybe it’s the exercise. Maybe it’s being my own boss. Maybe I am finding that elusive balance. Or maybe my panic-driven freak-out will be Wednesday morning before we board the plane. My daughter is extremely competent and dependable. She works hard at doing work she dislikes, so I have no reason to believe she’ll slack off on stuff she actually enjoys. If anything, I have secret fears that she might undervalue herself because she’s working at her mom’s new startup and underreport her hours. I am the one insisting upon paying her for her time; she volunteered because it is computer work she likes and gives her something to occupy her time while A is at work during the week. In the bigger picture, though, that’s a small-ball concern I can deal with pretty efficiently after our return.
If anything, I am thinking about our time away and what we will do with ourselves while on vacation. We seem to be kind of bad examples of how to go on vacation. I have a hard time abandoning my planning and scheduling ways even when we go on vacation. Next month is simpler – Reno air races is a pretty set schedule – but this free-form stuff challenges me. I want to relax, see things, not push myself to do everything and come home more exhausted than when I left. M and I have differing ideas and tastes in what constitutes a relaxing vacation, so it is rarely boring.
Whatever happens, whatever we do, we will have a great time. Because we’re together and adventuring away from home. Hopefully the hotel I selected for our first few days is not a terrible dive place. Saturday and Sunday nights we are in a downtown Seattle hotel (wedding on Saturday), so that will be nice.
I have my lists for what I need to take, things I need to remember. Usually this causes me a lot of fretting stress, absolutely convicted I am forgetting something and disaster will befall us. But as M reminds me every time we go somewhere, there are lots of familiar stores in Washington and we can buy toothpaste or hair elastics or deodorant (all things we have forgotten on prior trips) just about anywhere. The funny part is I am not the party in this relationship that overpacks. M could likely survive for weeks on what he crams into a suitcase, whereas I would need laundry facilities and to have one of the kids send me a fedex package with additional prescription meds if we extend our stay more than 24 hours.
So while the weekend has been busy with work, I find myself strangely relaxed for the Sunday prior to leaving town. Weekend laundry is happening now, suitcases have been brought in from the garage, and the house is mostly clean and ready to go. Our home has a comfortable, lived-in vibe most of the time, but when we leave for longer than a weekend, I like to come home to an empty sink, empty dishwasher, empty laundry baskets, and clean linens on the bed. If possible we also trying to plan to ensure we eat all the leftovers, fresh fruit, produce, yogurt and milk in the refrigerator. We are kind of weird that way.
Perhaps this is the beginning of a new, positive trend for me on going away somewhere. I am not going to question it further, simply relax and enjoy it for as long as it lasts.