December 14, 2012
Above: My brother Sam and a family friend taking a sunset swim this past summer.
Around this time of year, I get really itchy for summer. Probably because I'm on the opposite side of the calendar from it - I know I'm six months away from my yearly Michigan vacation, but it's equally jarring (though painfully obvious) to think that it's been six months since I was there. I am utterly pale and my dry winter-skin also, well, itches - for warmer weather and the beach and saunas and daily swims and and and... you get the picture.
Last summer, I took two whole weeks out of my vacation time for Michigan (usually, I'm only able to squeeze in one, but I had just received another week of vacation time at my job, and I had a childhood friend's wedding to rock). And about halfway through, I knew I'd ruined myself for life. Never again would I be able to go back to just one week - I mean, damn, it takes one week just to properly unwind and settle into the vacation, am I right? I thought, with my added vacation time, I'd be able to just barely stretch each Michigan trip to two weeks. And I was super-pumped about that.
FAST FORWARD. I had just accepted a job at Braid, and was excitedly gushing/bragging about the finer points of my awesome new geographically-independent work/life situation to Micah, when I said this as an afterthought; "I mean, I could even work from Michigan if I wanted to! I could go up there for like, a month this summer." And then I froze, and realized it was true.
I've been kicking the idea around ever since - casually mentioning it to my parents to ask for pseudo-permission and make sure it wasn't too crazy, and casually running it by my boss-ladies... to ask for pseudo-permission and make sure it wasn't, you know, too crazy. Everyone gave me their (immediate, enthusiastic) blessing, so now I'm saying it here to make sure it really happens.
I'm going to spend a whole month in Michigan this summer.
I'll probably work half the time, and then take the other half off as legit vacation time. I haven't figured out the finer points of it yet, but damn if writing this just isn't making me even more excited about the whole prospect! Also - writing this has made me super-aware of how blessed I am. The fact that I have this beautiful place available to me, and that I have always had employers give me ample time off to visit every year, is something I never take for granted. I guess I'm just highlighting, for myself, the additional rewards that have come with deciding to take this big work-leap - how decisions like that not only affect what I do 40ish hours a week, but my quality of life, and my consequential ability to make more life-changing decisions.
A whole month.