camping in the woods

Vacation: All I Ever Wanted

Got to get away!

Let’s recap the last year:

  1. After 2.5 years of doing a nation-wide search I finally landed a new position at UNLV.
  2. In as little as two weeks I secured an apartment that met my needs sight unseen from 1,600 miles away.
  3. Rented a pickup truck which we loaded with everything I’d need and drove with wifey on a 25-30 hour single push (including stops) from St. Louis to Vegas.
  4. Spent a week with wifey getting set up and acclimated before a tearful goodbye to her for what at the time was an indefinite period.
  5. Excitedly started the new job.
  6. Fairly quickly learned the lay lines of the building.
  7. Realized my hiring manager was not… a stable genius?
  8. Wifey visited for two weeks in August. YAY!
  9. Made friends. Not a small feat for me.
  10. 1 October shooting at Mandalay Bay happened.
  11. Wifey got a job and moved here in October. SUPER YAY!
  12. Same week wifey moved here I went back to St. Louis to present at a conference.
  13. My best employee got promoted and moved to a branch library.
  14. Went to another conference in Atlanta in November
  15. Spent a winter spiraling into depression when the fabulous new job wasn’t going so well.
  16. Got a really poor 7-month evaluation.
  17. Thought I was going to get fired.
  18. Not-a-stable-genius hiring manager announced she was leaving for another job and stopped speaking to me for the next two months.
  19. Started getting training and guidance from my Associate Dean (and new boss).
  20. Depression spiral dissipated.
  21. Promoted an employee into a different position internally.
  22. Same employee was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.
  23. Parents came to visit. Their first ever Vegas vacation.
  24. Same employee died of colon cancer.
  25. Hired someone to fill the first open position (#12 above).
  26. Promoted someone to fill the position initially left vacant (#21) by the deceased employee when she was promoted.
  27. Passed my final probationary review with a much better score.
  28. Hired a person to fill the position vacated by my deceased employee when she died.

What’s your year been like?

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. This may have been my most eventful year since the feverish days of poor decision making in my early twenties. Probably, more so.

Even though we’re out of the spring semester I’ve not really been able to slow down. I’ve been in the process of on-boarding my most recent hire who started on the 17th (#28), plus end-of semester cranky patrons are shocked, shocked! that they have blocks on their accounts because they didn’t return something on time back in February. No rest for the conscientious!

The good news is that I’m fully staffed for the first time since October.

Also, the good news is that I’m going on a two-plus week vacation starting next Friday, May 25. I’ve never done a two-week vacation before, but this time I really think I need it. We’re going back home to camp, hike, see family, and do touristy stuff in our home town. While emotionally, I’m not ready to go back home. I’m excited to be getting away and not have these issues to deal with. The added bonus is that since we’ll be camping most of the time, I’ll have minimal internet access and generally be inaccessible.

Another benefit of going back home is that we can stock up on all the products that we otherwise can’t get in Vegas: Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce, St. Louis craft beer, norton wine, etc.

Like I said, we’ll be camping in a favorite MO state park most of the time outside of Ste. Genevieve, unless we’re traveling. The park happens to be roughly centrally located to all the family that we plan on seeing and we got two sites so that not only will there be our tent, but my parents’ camper and my step-son’s pop-up. For most of the time we’ll have the grandkids (eight and eleven years old) staying with us. We’ll be kid-sitting. Doing fun outdoors stuff during the day, taking them to their little-league games in the evening (eight times!, as far as I know). Plus, We’ve got Cardinals tickets, plans to see wifey’s friends at a potluck lunch, and some city sight seeing to do. We’ve got to go to our own house — yes, we still own a house in St. Louis where my step-daughter lives — and do some work there, and grab the rest of our stuff which we’re going to pack in a U-Haul trailer and haul back to Vegas with us. It’s going to be a busy two weeks.

We’re not doing the single long car ride this time though. We’re going to take the northern route, I-15 to I-70 to I-55, on the way out stopping in a hotel in Denver and at friends’ in Kansas City. On the way back, with the trailer, we’re taking the southern route where there are a lot fewer mountains, I-55 to I-44 to I-40 and then north from Kingman, AZ, with a plan to stop in Amarillo, TX which is almost exactly half-way.

It’s going to be a long, fun, humid, busy trip different than any I’ve ever taken before. It’s much needed and much deserved. We owe it to ourselves to take trips and do different things sometimes. They don’t have to be new things all the time, but different things. We all need to get out of our routines, out of our towns, and do something different. I never have been and never will be someone who has to be told to to take vacations. I don’t understand that mentality. Normally, we take a lot more short trips in the course of a year that we’ve done this past year. With all the moves and new jobs and difficulties the year has brought we simply haven’t been able to do that sort of thing since I got to Vegas last May.

I’ve noticed a difference in myself because of it, too. A few weeks ago I thought I was in the early stages of mental exhaustion, possibly even another depression spiral. I’m certain it’s because I’ve not been able to get away as much as I’m used to. Call it forest bathing, escaping, self-care, or retreating, it doesn’t matter. You need it. I need it. We all need to get away from time to time. Now, it’s my time.

See you in a few.

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