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:
- 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.