Labor Day -- 09/03/01

This morning's paper (Providence Journal) noted in an editorial that:
Today is perversely called the "end of summer," though some warm weeks lie ahead. Whatever we call it, working people richly deserve this long weekend. And how fortunate New Englanders are to live where Labor Day weekend is usually so agreeable. So let's strike a blow against workaholism: If you get the desire to do something productive today, lie down until the mood passes.
Well, how can I go against such sage advice?

I slept in until past seven o'clock... got up, put out the flag and brought in the morning paper... had coffee and breakfast and read the paper... I do have a few chores around the house to complete today: need to change the lightbulb on the front porch (this requires using a stepladder to reach plus a short-handled screwdriver to open the light), change the light bulb over the stairway (very high ceiling, requires an extension ladder), wake Sean up at some point so he can mow the lawn in the backyard, plus I might wash my car, sweep the sidewalk, etc. (or maybe I won't). I do need to post this to Geocities along with the previous entry ), update the index page, etc., and send out a notify email.... while I'm online doing that I'll probably read email and check out the journals I like to read.

I'm about two-thirds through one of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels (Blue Moon) and so I have a major decision to make: should I sit out on the front porch and read it or should I lie in my hammock in the backyard and read it. Perhaps I could compromise: read in the hammock for a while, come inside and have some lunch, and then read on the front proch after lunch.

I recently read that Americans work more hours per year than anyone else in the world. The Japanese used to be the workaholic champions but we passed them back in the mid 90's and now have built a significant lead, out working the Japanese by 137 hours. We're really ahead of Europe: Americans work 260 hours per year more than British workers and 499 hours more than German workers!

I'm afraid I'm an example of that kind of thing... not only do I put in long hours and bring work home, etc., but I'm way behind on taking vacation time. I'll have to check my dayrunner to be certain, but I think I've only taken five vacation days this year -- two back in March when we went down to Charlesdown for a nephew's wedding and three days in July for Adam and Leah's wedding -- surely I must have taken one more? Maybe a half a day? But I can't think of any. That means I have ten vacation days left to squeeze in before the end of the year (vacation days can't be carried over to a new year; it's use 'em or lose 'em) but that's difficult because we get two days for Thanksgiving plus two (this year) for Christmas plus we have three personal floater holidays which I usually take during Christmas week... so I only need one vacation day to be able to walk out the door on Friday Dec 21st and not have to be back until Wednesday Jan 2nd. How can I use these other vacation days? Yeah, I can take off everyday that Nancy and the kids have off... that's a few days -- and yes, of course, I am taking tomorrow as a vacation day even though I have a lot of work to do -- but I've still got leftover days... Normally I would have used more days during the summer... but I was too busy to take time off around the 4th of July and I had planned on taking off most of this past week -- I usually like to take a few days off at the end of August to enjoy the last days with the kids before school starts (but, of course, they are not little kids anymore) -- but then I had to teach the class down in Virginia. I did work from home a lot of days during July which was wonderful -- Nancy and I could have breakfast and lunch together and yet I could more work done than if I had to drive into the office -- so even though I was putting in sixty plus hour weeks and working weekends, etc., it didn't seem that bad. So now I'm stuck with these extra vacation days... Yeah, I know, it would be much worse to need time off and not have any days available.

Okay, time to FTP this to Geocities, etc. so I can get to reading and goofing off...

Hope you are getting to enjoy some rest and relaxation. And remember that editorial advice: If you get the desire to do something productive today, lie down until the mood passes.

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