Pre-vacation obsessions, jitters, and hopes

Can you all do without me for three weeks? Can I do without you?

There is a disconnect, which is rare on the Web, between the time I write this blog (pre-vacation) and when you read it (weeks later, when I’m actually on vacation). I realize, in today’s world, anything could have happened in that three-week period, so I can’t really be topical. All I can do is write what thoughts I’m having today.

Today I’m thinking that I have to remember to pack Dramamine. I’m wondering if I left sufficient work for my assistant to do in my absence (pretty sure she’ll tell you I overcompensated and no worries there). I’m wondering how staff can get along without me for three weeks (ha, ha, ha) and how I will do with my own separation anxiety, as this is the longest I’ve been away from them. Even after major surgeries, I was back with them, in each case, within two weeks. So this really is the first parting of the ways (in 16 years) of this duration.

I’m wondering if my husband will remember that I hand-feed the dogs a piece of ham every morning and cheese every night. They like it torn into quarters and they like to eat it as a midnight snack. He goes to bed closer to 9 or 10 p.m., so the details might have escaped his notice (though we wake him up most nights with our lights-on, cooing and petting and treat routine, so he’s probably aware of the general facts).

I have to remember to pack those ugly black-and-pink aquatic shoes, too. In case we swim in the ocean, grandson Patrick and I. I don’t want to step on a fishhook. Probably better buy him a pair, too. Wonder what size shoe he wears now. One more thing to obsess about today … and I do obsess about packing. If I had someone to take my list, pack the bags, and ship them to my destination, I’d save myself about 20 hours of packing, repacking, checking, rechecking, adding, subtracting, and generally making myself nuts. I do make lists, but then I alter lists. I change lists. I rethink lists. Packing is my Achilles’ heel.

When I get back to work, we’ll be only a few weeks out from a new product launch. We’ll only have a handful of weeks before our Extreme Networking Event and our IB Expo. Thank heavens I have a capable events manager and sales team, and editorial team working on content.

“You should be able to take a long vacation”

That’s what Bill Haight said to me, over a recent lunch, and I appreciated it more than he knew – that vote of confidence rather than a look of abject horror that I would abandon my post for so long. “You’ve gotten much better at delegation, and you have a great staff,” he added. “Jon can handle things while you’re out, I can step in as needed, and you can relax and turn off your cell and computer. That’s the reward for putting that kind of recruitment work, training, and trust into the organization.”

Yes, but … yes, but … yes, but. Three weeks! How do people take sabbaticals for a year and step back into their roles? How do people take six-week cruises? I’m dipping my toe in the ocean of “free time” and I’m wanting to feel the warm/cool waters lapping invitingly, but I’m worried there is a shark just off the shore, waiting to pull me under.

But I will not drown – in anxiety or in relief.

I will turn off my phone and my computer, however, so if you wanted to reach me this week, you won’t. I’ll be back at the office next week, toting iPad videos of my 10-year-old traveling partner (so you might want to avoid me for a couple of weeks at least), and I’ll have stories to tell and meetings to attend. I’ll be brushing off the last tiny sand particles and reading briefs and reports. And the world, as I’ve known and loved it, will go on.

At least, those are my thoughts and plans on this side of vacation ….

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