Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Tomorrow, I'm supposed to be on vacation, but I'm not actually going anywhere (well, nowhere fun and exotic, that is). I'm having my car fixed and then preparing for the arrival of my parents on Thursday. They're coming to visit for my husband's graduation from seminary. However, I'm already trying to figure out if I'll have a little time in the morning to look at a proposal and a sample chapter from an author. This isn't a good sign: my first vacation since I started telecommuting, and I'm obviously not inclined to drag myself away from the computer. Luckily, my house hasn't started to fall down around me yet.

To tell you the truth, I've never been a big fan of vacations. I don't mean I don't like to travel and get away (I do. I love it!), but what I don't like is that work is going on without me. I attribute this to my "third child syndrome." I'm a third child, which means I always felt like I was missing out on something. I always had to go to bed, or I wasn't old enough to go, or by the time whatever the big event was, like going off to college, got around to me, it was so old-hat, nobody even cared about it anymore. Thus, I've always wished the office would just close everytime I'm on vacation. I mean, why shouldn't my whole workplace revolve around me, since my childhood, quite obviously, didn't?

Inevitably, I'm right, too. Big things do tend to happen when I'm on vacation. Take the one fire (I'm talking about a real fire here, not the proverbial fires people in business always brag about "putting out." It was in the computer room. Not a soul was hurt, because who ever hangs out in the computer room?) that ever happened at any place that ever employed me. It happened while I was on vacation.

The good news was that the company did actually close down for a day while I was away, but the bad news is I missed being able to turn it into the big dramatic event it wasn't. You know how you always wish you could say something really cool at a cocktail party (I have no idea why, since no one ever throws or attends cocktail parties anymore) like, "Oh yeah, and then there was the time our office building caught on fire. The woman in the cubicle next to me passed out, and I had to drag all 189 pounds of her down three flights of stairs. We barely made it out alive." Instead, I have to say, "Oh yeah, and then there was the time I was hiking around Acadia Park in Maine and found out my office building was disappearing up in smoke." It just doesn't quite have the same edge, does it?

But wait a minute. Maybe if I ever get invited to a cocktail party, I can say, "Oh yeah, and then there was the time my house caught on fire. I was so busy reading a proposal, the fire trucks had arrived before I even realized what was going on, only to discover I was trapped upstairs..."

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