Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Introducing Fall Fest

I had a minor epiphany this morning. It was lovely, crisp and cool, so I decided to bake scones for breakfast. Then I thought it would be nice to have breakfast on the patio. But that was one of the things I have planned for my hypothetical "staycation" that I'm thinking of taking this fall, and I'm not really ready for vacation yet. And then I had to wonder where these rules came from. Who said that eating on the patio is only a vacation thing?

I think when it comes to stuff like this, my procrastination tendencies collide with my perfectionism tendencies and my fondness for anticipation to create a big, unholy mess. I do like having something to look forward to, and if I'm going to vacation by staying at home and relaxing, then I do need to have different things to make the vacation special. But on the other hand, if I keep waiting for the stars to align and for things to be perfect, I'll never actually take that vacation. Meanwhile, there's something to be said for ordinary pleasures, little things that can make any day a little more special. Like, say, starting the day by having tea and scones on the patio on a cool, sunny morning.

I think some of that procrastination/anticipation thing is a legacy of my grandmother, who was fond of keeping things "for good." That is, some things were too special to be used for ordinary occasions, so they were set aside for special occasions, and that meant they were never actually used because no occasion was deemed special enough. I do have a few things like that, but with me, it's mostly actions and experiences that I want to save for some special time when I have something to celebrate instead of "wasting" them on an ordinary day. And that means I never actually do all these things. I set up all these conditions for this perfect hypothetical stay-at-home vacation, then those conditions are never met, and so it doesn't really happen, or if I make it happen, it's kind of half-hearted because I don't do most of the stuff I had planned.

So, I have decided to rethink the fall vacation. I am hereby declaring Fall Fest. Since I'm not on an urgent deadline at the moment and can be flexible about most of my workload (aside from weekly deadlines for medical school stuff), I am going to enjoy my favorite season as it comes. Fall in Texas can be fleeting or sporadic, so when it's a perfect day for something I want to do, I will give myself permission to declare a spontaneous vacation day and do it. That's the nice thing about being self-employed. Back when I had a regular job, I used to wish I could call in on vacation on those perfect days that would be wasted in an office. If I didn't have anything scheduled, why not? But vacations had to be planned in advance. Working for myself, I can declare vacation whenever I want. I can eat breakfast on the patio on a cool, crisp morning. If it's one of those sparkling, not-too-warm/not-too-cool days, I can pack a picnic in my backpack and walk down to the riverfront for a picnic (and bring paper and a pen because I think better alongside moving water). If I notice the butterflies flying, I can run across the street to the butterfly park and watch them. If it's a cool, rainy day, I can curl up with a book and a pot of tea. I don't have to wait for a designated vacation time to do all the fun things I want to do at this time of year. And on other days or at other times of the day, I can work. This is probably better for my productivity than taking a week off. I'm in an idea-generation mode anyway, so getting out and living life is what I need right now to help me think.

Meanwhile, I need to decide if I'm going to Worldcon next year. The registration price goes up this week. It's in Reno, which isn't one of my favorite places, but it's not like there's much sightseeing going on during a convention. I have no idea what will be going on with my career by that time, whether I'll need to be promoting or whether I should be in cave mode. I suppose I could register, and then transfer the membership if I change my mind.

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