Slowing Down A Bit

From the middle of July until the last weekend of October, I was working either one day or both days each weekend. I couldn’t wait until the first weekend in November when I could do absolutely nothing.

I went for a run, I read, I watched Netflix—I started watching Atypical—and finally got to watch Sunday afternoon football. It was nice.

This past weekend, I made it a four-day weekend. Since Monday was Veterans Day, it was a floating holiday for us at work, so I took the holiday, and I used a vacation day today. (I’m horrible at using my vacation time and will touch upon this later on.) I’m just excited about how my weekend was:

  • Saturday: Went running (4.33 miles), read a bit, and went out to dinner with my parents.
  • Sunday: Caught up on shows in my DVR, went for a walk with the dogs and my parents, watched the Giants/Jets game, and watched a lot of HGTV for some reason.
  • Monday: Went running (4.21 miles) and then rolled myself into a blanket burrito and watched Atypical all afternoon.
  • Tuesday: Had an appointment at 8:00 a.m. for blood work, went shopping with my mom at Marshall’s and Old Navy (it was a combination of Christmas shopping/my mom doing the “If you find something you like, I’ll put it away for Christmas” thing/me buying a bunch of running stuff at Old Navy), went out to lunch with my mom, changed my sheets (apparently sheets are made in different materials and I recently found out I can’t stand 100% polyester sheets), painted my nails, and started season three of Atypical. (PS: If you’re not watching Atypical right now GO WATCH IT. IT’S AMAZING.)

Although I did get a bunch of stuff done today, I’m glad I kind of had the last few days to do whatever. When it’s nice during the summer, I’d much rather be outside, but this time of year, I’m totally okay being inside, most because it’s where it’s warm.

I’ve always been really bad at using my vacation time, so I had to make an effort to disconnect the last two days. My email was on my phone—since it used to be my student email, it was on my phone circa 2012—but the last time I stayed home the end of October when I was sick, seeing the influx of emails coming in wasn’t good for my anxiety. So as of last week, my email is officially off my phone. And I feel better. I’m trying not to think about how many emails I’ll be welcomed with tomorrow morning, because that’s a tomorrow morning thing. I had an out of office message—or as I used to call it, in case of emergency—and I left my boss a few things to do while I was out. Because if I’m off on a vacation day, I want to be off. (Unless there’s like a really big emergency or something that I need to know about.)

This time of year is kind of great because during the week of Thanksgiving, we have Wednesday through Friday off, and around Christmas time, this year I’m off December 23rd to January 1st. For Thanksgiving week, I’m also taking the Monday and Tuesday off, and I think I’ll still have three-ish vacation days left to use in December before the end of the year.

For the first almost year of my current job, I had a pretty good work/life balance, but I got tripped up a few weeks ago and I’m trying to find a new-ish balance that works for me. I’m hoping I can figure it out by the end of the year and take advantage of my time off. Even if it is to just wrap myself in a blanket burrito.

How do you like to relax this time of year? How do you use your vacation time? Do you struggle like I do?


  1. It sounds like a lovely few days off! It’s good for the mind to switch off once in a while. I used to be terrible at taking my vacation days back home, because we had so few and I felt I had to hoard them ‘just in case’. The UK, for all its flaws, give employees a minimum of 28 days off each year so I’ve not had trouble taking them since moving here! Sounds like your running is going well, too?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wait, you get a minimum of 28 days?! I mean, I get 20 days at my current job, but at my old one I only had 5 days my first two years.

      Yes, running is going well! I’ve been running three times a week, even on Saturday mornings when it’s cold. I have my last 5K of the year on December 2, and then it’s training all day every day for a 10K in March around St. Patrick’s Day. My left shin has been bothering me a little bit during my last few runs, so I’ve been icing it at night.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, 28 days! My husband has been at his job for a while and I think he gets around 35 days now?! One of the surprisingly pleasant thing about living in the UK… I only had 14 days after 5 years at my job back home.

        Ooh, good luck with the race and the 10K training! I hope the shin pain goes away soon. I had some too after changing shoes, but it went away. I guess new shoes change your gait a little. Icing it is always a good idea!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think that’s great. And definitely not something I would have expected haha.

        Thanks! It means I’ll have to run at least a 10K/7 miles a few times before the race though. (The furthest I’ve run so far is 5 miles.) I know I’ll have to walk at some points, but I’d like to try my best not to during it. The shin pain did go away, but I’m definitely sore after my run yesterday morning. I’ll have to break out my roller today haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 5 miles is really not that far from 7! And on race day, the crowds carry you. And don’t worry about walking… I’ve been running for years now and I still need to walk, even on shorter distances (thanks to asthma). It’s not a sign of weakness! Although it’s one of the reasons why I like trail running… There’s quite a bit of walking/hiking involved. How do you manage training in winter? Do you keep running in the snow?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have asthma too so that’s really the only reason why I have to stop. And when I stop to walk it’s only for like a tenth of a mile.

        I think I ran outside a few times last winter; I also wasn’t as serious about running like I am now. I know that my Saturday morning runs will be outside but if it gets too cold or snowy or icy I won’t run outside. Because the last thing I need to do is slip and fall or something. I have a treadmill in my basement I can use if I have to move inside on the weekends.

        What do you do in the winter?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Treadmill is good, and often a lot safer when it’s icy! I have one too, I find it quite useful to run ‘hills’ since I live in a very flat city.

        I’m in the UK now so I don’t really have to worry about snow (I actually miss it though), only heavy rain. Which sucks a bit sometimes, but like you I can use the treadmill if it’s too bad out there. But I also invested in a good waterproof jacket for when we go trail running.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ugh very jealous you don’t have a lot of snow. But yeah there’s no chance I’ll run outside after a snow storm. I do need to look into a good face mask/neck warmer for my colder runs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I actually miss running in the snow! We had a snow storm a few years ago (we had like an inch of snow so nothing major), and I was the crazy person who when running through it, haha! 😂

        But I have to admit, it’s much easier without snow. Although we do get some frost sometimes, that’s the extent of the cold I have to deal with these days.

        I have two Buff neck warmers and I love them. I keep one for running and I have a warmer one for motorbiking. They really are worth the investment. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ugh lucky. I’m just waiting for the feet of snow that’s yet to come during the winter haha.

        I’ll look into those! I was looking on Amazon the other night but didn’t find anything that really jumped out at me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You gotta use your vacation time!! I preach this to everyone I know. It’s not a great way to think, but I work somewhere where layoffs happen often and they barely pay you back for your accrued PTO if you’re laid off, there is much more value in taking it. It’s your time, you earned it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I know! I just feel bad using it if I’m not actually “doing something,” like going on a trip or something. I’m more likely to use my vacation days to run errands or just hang around the housed and I feel like those are valid enough reasons. I’ll have 20 days to use next year, so I’m going to be a lot better about taking time, even if it’s just a Friday here and there to make it a three-day weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVED the first two seasons of Atypical. I need to get to watching the 3rd one! I know it’s going to be just as good. 😊 You totally deserved the time off, I’m so glad you took the days off & relaxed. Doing nothing is the best!

    Liked by 1 person

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