As of today, I'm now on a leave of absence from work.

Sometime around November, I started talking with my manager about taking a few weeks off work. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed, and felt like I needed to take some time to breathe, and rest, and start trying to put my life back together.

But I was coming up on the end of two big projects, and we agreed that I would finish those projects and then go on leave.

But I didn't finish in November, and then I didn't finish in December. In January or so we re-evaluated, and agreed that I would finish in February and go on leave in March. (The delays were a mix of things that I did and didn't have control over.) Then I spent a few unexpected weeks learning (the basics of) Java and writing code samples and testing, and then there was a lot of polishing and cleanup to do.

The end result being that I finally finished one project (which I'd been working on for six months) last Wednesday--that was the GData documentation I mentioned last week. And then I finished the other project (which I'd been working on for a year--six months for the first version, then another six months to basically rewrite it from scratch) on Thursday. And then I got my manager's manager's signature on my leave form (my manager was out sick all week), and wrote up details of the status of both projects. And now, suddenly, I'm on leave.

I've got a bit over four weeks of unpaid leave, plus a bit under a week of vacation; a total of a little over five weeks off, returning to work just after WisCon/Memorial Day.

During this time off, I hope (but don't promise) to do some of the following, in no particular order:

  • Breathe.
  • Relax.
  • Send in my tax forms.
  • Clean my room and the rest of my house.
  • Go through some of the boxes of Peter's books.
  • Buy a new bookcase and decide how I want the bookcases arranged, so Kam can affix my bookcases to the wall.
  • Sit in the sun.
  • Read the Hugo-nominated short fiction, and vote.
  • Catch up on the last three weeks' worth of Strange Horizons submissions.
  • Read other fiction--though even if I were to read one book a day while on leave (which is quite unrealistic), I would still only get through about 35 books, and I have a lot more than that awaiting my attention.
  • Write journal entries more often than once a week. Possibly a lot more often--I may try to clean out some of my vast backlog of items-to-link-to. You have been warned.
  • Finish the story I've been working on for a very long time.
  • Resubmit another story (the one that got lost in the mail) to Interzone.
  • Try to get further ahead on SH editing.
  • Reply to some year-old condolences letters.
  • See some local friends.
  • Write and send some long-delayed email.
  • Practice poi-spinning.
  • Watch the rest of season 2 of Battlestar Galactica.
  • Watch movies.
  • Register for my upcoming high school reunion.
  • Buy clothes.
  • Get deck repaired/resurfaced/weatherproofed.
  • Deal with back yard.
  • Start thinking seriously about remodeling kitchen.

As you can see, I expect to be busy, but I'm hoping to keep it a relaxed sort of busy.

There are also a bunch of things that I would like to do but am not going to do. Foremost among those is travel; my first thought whenever I've got significant time off is "I could go wander around the country and see friends!" And I have to squelch that; I could easily spend the entire five weeks off visiting people, which would be great except that I wouldn't get a chance to relax, probably wouldn't sleep well, and wouldn't get any of the items on the above list done.

But all of those to-do items are yet to come. The very first item on my agenda at this particular moment is lunch.

10 Responses to “Done!”

  1. Greg van Eekhout

    Awesome! I hope you really enjoy your leave and emerge happy and relaxed, and that the very first item on your agenda proves yummy.

  2. Lisa Mantchev

    Hooray! I vote you spend at least one day in a lawnchair with a fruity drink. 🙂

  3. Jenn Reese

    Excellent!! If I see you not relaxing at Wiscon, we will Have Words. 😉 Good luck–You certainly deserve some downtime.

  4. Karen

    Fantastic, Jed; I hope you’ll enjoy your vacation to the fullest. That’s an excellent to-do list. I’ll send you some movie recommendations!

  5. Debby

    Hurrah for vacation and welcome back. I’ve missed you.

  6. Aliette de Bodard

    Hurrah! You’ve been really busy those past weeks, and I hope you make good use of that time to unwind (although after seeing your impressive list of what you meant to do I’m not so sure about that 😉 )

  7. Joanna

    I’m truly happy to hear that you can look forward to a lengthy period of downtime! Best wishes for being productive to some degree, but most of all for enjoying a lot of relaxation and rest. 🙂

  8. Haddayr

    That is wonderful. I am happy for you and a teeny-tiny bit envious. Okay a whole huge heapin’ pile of envious.

  9. Jetse

    Take care, Jed, and take it easy.

    If you don’t want to risk the postal system again for the Interzone submission, then you could email the story my way to . I do acknowledge that I’ve received it.

    The difference is that with email I am the first reader, and with postal mail Andy is the first reader. However, final decisions of acceptance always happen by team decision, that is Andy, Dave Matthew and me.

    Anyway, FYI.

  10. SarahP

    Sounds like a very, very good plan. I add to Lisa’s comment, above, this: may the fruity drinks have little paper umbrellas in them.


Join the Conversation

Click here to cancel reply.