I've been on vacation for a week now. Normally I would take a week plus the two days of the previous weekend. A few days beyond that this time, as I've accumulated as much vacation time as I can carry along to subsequent years. Work becomes something of an identity badge. I am the hormone maven, the dabbler in medical science. When I am vacationing, that identity gets set aside though not replaced with anything else. In that sense it becomes a very brief prelude to retirement. I took along various potential amusements: my art supplies, my good harmonica, my cheap harmonica that I've kept in the car indefinitely, but have not taken out any of them. Some activity of a recreational nature has continued. I like museums. I like craft beers. I enjoy visiting wineries and sampling new variants of coffee. Wrote briefly in my journal though at one time that was prime early morning vacation activity. Now it's been replaced by my daily morning Facebook note, more for my benefit than anyone else's. But the pageant that is professional medical care has been very good to me making me hesitant to set it aside, even for a brief escape from it.
I know retirement will arrive, maybe at the date I chose, maybe sooner from other circumstances beyond my control. I see retirement in the people riding the shuttle bus with me at Colonial Williamsburg. They go on tours, they eat at restaurants, but they don't seem quite as immersed as people who have to ration their discretionary time.
Back at work next week, probably no farther along in planning for my leisure years than I was at my last birthday when I took the first real step in that direction.
I definitely need to focus on my health a little more meticulously and define my Me Space a little better, but also get back into a few activities that I've set aside. Work on my semi-annual projects during the rest of my vacation time.