Yes, you read that correctly. “Summer” vacation. In April/May. In Canada. *cue the whomp-whomp sound effect*
(Spoiler alert: That person is not me.)
Since Darling Husband is a lead (team leader/boss) but near the bottom of the seniority list, he doesn’t get to take vacation during the summer like a normal person might. So every year he takes some time in the spring — usually the kids’ birthdays, and sometimes our anniversary — and also Halloween.
So how do we spend these vacation weeks?
I work, a lot more than usual, since he’s here to be with the kids, drive them where they need to go, do the pick-ups, etc.
Not exactly the “vacation” you’d see on Pinterest, am I right?
I’ve been freelancing from home since D was born, almost seven years ago, so it’s always difficult to find enough hours in the day to work. Darling Husband being home means I can take on extra projects, and turn things around more quickly — freeing me up for even more work.
And so I worked.
Work-at-home lunch for the freelancer on a deadline? Cold chicken, Coke-bottle gummies, and Tylenol. 😂 pic.twitter.com/Xf8I1vshul
— Heather Laura Clarke (@HFXHeather) April 27, 2017
I think I’m going to start an official list of “always-stand-me-up” people so I remember to refuse future projects. #writerproblems
— Heather Laura Clarke (@HFXHeather) May 4, 2017
“… Anyway, I’ve gotta go write my face off.” <—– a thing I just said 😂 #writerlife
— Heather Laura Clarke (@HFXHeather) May 3, 2017
And while I worked, Darling Husband played many games of UNO, did a lot of work in the backyard (sodding, building a little deck in front of the shed), and … well, I’m not sure what else, since I was IN MY BASEMENT PRISON. A tea-drinking writer-monkey, headset in place, typity-typing away all the live-long day.
He went back to work on Sunday after his few weeks off, and I was almost glad to see him go. Not because I haven’t enjoyed having him here (although the constant video-gaming is JUST A TAD ANNOYING), but because it meant I was partially freed from my basement office prison.
Cooking? Cleaning? Driving kids around? Kind of a reprieve, in some ways. At least those tasks don’t involve being glued to two computer monitors in the basement from 8 a.m. onward.
Of course, there’s also a glorious freedom — freedom to WORK — in having him around all of the time. Now I’m back to the juggling game of trying to schedule interviews and meet deadlines while also dealing with the kids + their various schedules.
(Is it wrong that I’m already counting down to September 7 when BOTH kids will be in elementary school all day? I’m dreaming of having six hours to work, all alone, every weekday — and then hopefully having non-work time in the late afternoons when we can hang out together or go somewhere fun.)
What about me, you might ask? Nope, no vacation time. Being a freelancer, I could technically take time off whenever I felt like it, if it wasn’t for the small fact that I DON’T GET PAID IF I DON’T WRITE ALL THE WORDS.
I worked quite happily up at my dad’s house last summer, during our Ontario trip, and will likely do the same thing this year.
I took on less work than usual, of course, so I still had lots of pool time. But I really don’t have the desire to take more than a few days off at a time — for financial reasons (and reputation/reliability reasons) but also because it would stress me out.
So that was our “summer” vacation — and, honestly, it wasn’t that bad.
We’re not devastated that we don’t have real summer vacation time like a lot of professionals. It’s not like we would go on any crazy trips or do a ton of beach-y things that require having two straight weeks off in July or August. This is our “normal” — even though it’s strange.
We like our life and our routines, and — as I like to remind myself when I feel a twinge of jealousy over someone else’s vacation plans — we’ve created a life that we don’t need a vacation from.*
*Except I wouldn’t turn down an all-expenses-paid trip. Don’t get me wrong.