Turn That Frown Upside Down

PhotoIt’s almost November 1 again and even though we don’t celebrate Día de los Muertos in my office, the mood grows ominous as the holiday approaches. Why? It marks the beginning of the annual vacation calendar circulation. I should rejoice, not shudder. Through retirements, involuntary terminations, and sheer fortitude, I’m at the top of the seniority ladder. Whee!! But, until last year, I would pass the calendar down to the rung tenant below me without choosing any days.

My co-workers would happily gobble up the “good” times:  the Fridays and Tuesdays surrounding Monday holidays; the span between Christmas and New Year’s; July; August. By the time I entered their dates on the dry erase calendar, I was left with a couple of Thursdays in February and a week in early December. And I had no one to blame but myself.

I’m not a procrastinator and I love to travel so I was stupefied by this weird chink in my behavioral armor. It seemed so mealy-minded to put off doing something I love, so last year I seized the calendar and claimed my dates with the gusto of a colonial explorer planting his flag.

To avoid upsetting the troops, I didn’t take all of the 3-day weekends. And I don’t have young kids, so I left blank all of the school holidays. But I chose well and wisely, securing some of premium dates, including Christmas and mid-July. My officemates survived and I thrived, reaping the benefits of committing early. I got terrific pricing on several flights because I was able to book well in advance. Arranging two family trips was less stressful because I had plenty of time to navigate potential land mines. And I had many hours to dream and research and plan; this behind-the-scenes work enriches the actual travel experience for me.

I did have one fear – that spontaneous “let’s go” travel would disappear. But I left a couple of days in reserve in case a loosey goosey opportunity arose. This year I can’t wait to break out the calendar and start filling in my squares. It’s the next best thing to heading out the door.

So tell me…are you an eager planner or a perpetual procrastinator?

The Office Life is a Canadian web series featuring vignettes about the day to day nonsense happening in cubicles round the globe. Here’s “The Vacation Calendar”.

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