paid vacation

Put 'em in the wind.
The first person I told that Sharaun and I were having a baby was the drummer from the band Autodrone. I told him as we were in Manhattan, walking down Broadway I think… heading to Smith & Wollensky for a fat steak. It sounds more glamorous that it is. The drummer is Ben’s brother Dave, and I was in New York for work. Still, on it’s own, that first sentence sounds totally awesome.

Last Thursday night I was getting ready for bed, thinking about my vacation next week. Thinking about my India trip after that, my trip to Oregon after that, and my trip to Florida after that. Then I started thinking about my “bonding leave” after that. For the past two weeks, I’ve been agonizing over that schedule; fretting. See, I’m a little terrified. Terrified that, after being away from work for what will amount to months, I’ll become irrelevant, lose touch, fall out of respect as a contributor with an opinion that deserves to be heard. I’ve shared this fear with some, and they maintain that it’s irrational. “Not all that much changes in 6wks,” they insist (see, I’ll be “gone” twice, each time about 6wks long), “you’ll fall right back into the swing of things,” they say. And, while those assurances do lend some small comfort, my issues with earning workplace respect still gnaw at me – poking me, chiding, “They’re all gonna forget you, you’ll simply cease to be relevant.” So, I still have some hesitation, and it was in the throes of mulling that hesitation that night when I had a revelation, when I saw the flipside of the coin.

I’ll embrace the second-order effects of my very own fears – I’ll give up. I’ll trust the well-wishers, believe the re-assurers implicitly. Things will be the same. Afterall, I’m not delusional enough to think I’m in-expendable; or that the organization will fall apart in my absence, void of my wisdom and guidance. I’m not that puffy-chested. So, regardless of any lingering doubt, I’ll assume I’ll return from all this away-time as if returning to work on any Monday like today. I’ll imagine I’ll walk right in and pick up where I left off, that my time away will in no way effect my impact. This will be a forced belief, of course, as I truly think quite the opposite – but it won’t matter. Wanna know why? Because taking this approach, I get one very clear benefit – I can rest on my laurels for a bit and enjoy a very fortuitous alignment of travel, holidays, vacation, and “leave.” Who cares if I become irrelevant. I have the skills to become relevant again. So, let’s do this; bring it on – I’m ready to not care like I’ve not not cared before. And believe me, I’m the king of not caring.

Mind you, I can’t really do this… my self-confidence-centered paranoia will ensure that. I won’t let myself sabotage what I’ve strived to build up, either nature or nurture instilled me with too much common sense to just waste what makings of a career I’ve already managed. Still, it’s a nice counterpoint to salve my nervous fears, and it gives me a sort of rebellious comfort. Through some twisted thought process, becoming irrelevant by being an absentee is somehow sexy to me – a bucking of the system in some sense. Reconciled internally by me as an outward show of hubris; me hanging my nuts in the wind for the world to see. Oh yeah, sexy.

Anyone else think the only way the OC is remotely watchable these days is by fast-forwarding through the crappy grownup segments? God that show sucks, and how I used to fawn over it. Who spliced a storyline from Days of Our Lives in between the indie-rock kids drama? They should be fired.

Goodnight, I’m out.

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