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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Amber-Colored Lightness of Unstructured Time

You’ll be pleased to hear that I have taken the advice of a large number of folks' initial reactions to learning that I had this week off.

They suggested that I “relax”.

And so I have.

It may be the first recorded instance of it.

And I have entered an interesting frame of mind.

I am on vacation. See me? Over here? Yoo hoo!

And on this vacation?

As in all vacations, I’ve decided that the numbers on the clock are powerless to affect me.

And I’ve rediscovered, if that can be said, what I’ve known the whole time: I like to stay up.

As a younger woman, this propensity lent itself to some pretty pathetic mornings, the kind of mornings where you find yourself digging through your hamper for the most acceptable pair of pants and applying make-up in the parking lot at work.

Who wants to be anywhere at 8:00 when you didn’t go to sleep until 3:00?

As an older woman, however, a woman with over a week off, this proclivity, coupled with a laptop and cable TV access? My mascara remains perfect but my posture is slowly going to hell.

In a collection of public holidays and a company’s week-long shutdown, this is the fifth day in a row that I have not had to work.

This makes it practically a sabbatical in U.S. terms.

When was the last time, my fellow Americans – and I am not speaking to the retired folk! You people are always taking off, enjoying yourselves! – when was the last time you took time off of work longer than two weeks?

Honestly, with the slow collection of vacation time that most companies offer, I have to admit that I had been working more than a dozen years before I took two weeks off.

And here I am, sitting on FIVE WHOLE DAYS, and I’m crazy with the light.

The light! Daylight, people! Precious, precious daylight in the winter!

My people in Sweden, Norway, Denmark! You understand, don’t you, about the light? Think of the weeks, the months. The days where the land and the sky are white-white-white – and better yet the days where the land is white and the sky is a vivid blue, a blue that always impresses itself upon one, the feeling that that blue must, somehow, be fake.

The weak, precious winter light is normally available to me only on weekends. Minnesota winter: I go to the bus stop in the dark; I come home in the dark.

To be out, in the light, has been eye-opening and pupil-dilating.

Beautiful, beautiful winter.

Beautiful, beautiful relaxation.


SparkleFarkle said...

Ahhh! DO claim those sweet chinkles of light as yours! I'm so happy for you! (And happy to know that the rays won't take you for some sort of Twilighty Edward Cullen, and snuff you, right when you're about to bask-- you not being use to the "sunny" perks o' the day and all. Hmm. Can I interest you in a pair of these, just until you adjust?


An enjoyable, curl-up-like-a-cat-in-a-light-patch vacation be yours!

The Jules said...

relax. Relaaaax. Your neck is a well cooked piece of asparagus. You are relaxed.

I remember explaining to a young bloke in Ecuador about the difference in daylight hours throughout the year in England, and he thought it would send you mad to have to live without a reliable sunrise and sunset.

I laughed, and told him that both us and the magical flump creatures got used to it.

Jodie Kash said...

I hear you, sister! Christmas Day was basically pancakes for lunch at 3ish...reading the fat advert paper in bed, curling up for a nap then back to back movies. It was a struggle.

So yesterday, I spent a day of vacation cleaning the house top to bottom.

How do people do this doing nothing thing?

My name is PJ. said...

When you've gone from al dente to limp, you will have become a Master!!!!!

powdergirl said...

Winter really is beautiful when you don't actually have to go out in it.

I worked out doors, so I saw every meager scrap of daylight that the winter metes out. Still, it was dark when I got up and dark when I got home. Blech.

Pearl said...

It's a thin light, isn't it, but it's all we've got!

From al dente to limp. :-) I'm thinking of having business cards made...


The Retired One said...

Ok. I am retired. And I am excluded from commenting.
(but ditto on discovering the light at winter since I retired...it is amazing!)

justsomethoughts... said...

enjoy it

Jeanne said...

I had six weeks off last winter about this time -- and then I found another job!

Ian Lidster said...

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

Amber Star said...

I didn't retire..I just quit working. Got tired of it all. The way you are talking about the light...that is what daylight savings time has done to us. I'm confused all the time now. That guy in Ecudor had it....how do we live without a reliable sunrise and sunset. Personally I'm a regular time girl...that dst hasn't ever saved me anything at all.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Daylight! I rarely feel like taking time off in winter...can't garden, can't go to the ballpark, so what's the use? But you're right, you get to see daylight. Makes everything better!

CatLadyLarew said...

Actually seeing daylight, both literally and figuratively? Doesn't get much better than that! Enjoy your time off!

secret agent woman said...

If I didn't have to work, I'd probably get up early, stay up late, and take a long siesta in the heat of the day.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Enjoy! If you weren't so darn cute about it, I'd almost hate you, I'm so jealous of your relaxation.

mapstew said...

I usually see the light on my way home from gigs!
It's just gone 4 AM, it's dark, wet, windy! I'm drunk, whacked, windy! (Shouldn't have had the buffet!)


Kavi said...

Lucky you ! some offices over here were closed on 28th Dec on account of Muharram. So, if you took three days off ( 29th - 31st Dec ), thats like an entire 10 days away from work.

I thought that was eternity. God bless their souls.

Anonymous said...

Pearl, enjoy the light!

Passion said...

It's high summer in Oz.. It's been a week of temps above 104deg, and that's not unusual for this time of year. Sunrise is about 5.30am and sunset is around 9pm.. so if you're looking for your lost daylight, I believe we have it.
Like you, it's been years since had a long holiday..and like you I have a whole week off to sloth out in my PJ's all day. Enjoy pearl!

Berowne said...

Your comments on work were great. Reminds me of what someone once wrote:
You can do any work, and any amount of work, as long as it's not the work you're supposed to be doing.
Happy New Year!

Firegirl said...

Triple love this post. I, too, am on vacation until after the New Year. BLISS!

Thanks for stopping by the blog (:-D