I hear that laughter is the best medicine, and if that’s true (and I think it is), I should be set for life.
The last time I took any real time off work (that was not related to anything medical) was back in 2013. I went to Milwaukee around a week for Labor Day weekend to see a good friend. I don’t know that I’ve ever really been a kind of “take a whole week off work” kind of person, although that’s definitely changing. Last year, it was early on when I had an inkling that I’d definitely maybe be having surgery, I started to hoard my time off because I knew that I’d have to use my accrued vacation for at least part of my recovery, which was fine. Not that a bilateral mastectomy is a vacation, but whatever.
My best laid plans were to only be out of work for a month but somewhere between the never ending drains and the infection of doom, it was 3 months before I went back to work. Yikes. It still makes me cringe.
Since going back to work in December 2014, I’ve tried to be judicious about taking time off, for a couple of reasons:
- I have a really, really overworked guilt complex and it goes into overdrive when I think about having been off work for 3 months.
- I know that I have more surgeries coming down the pipeline, so why waste it?
- As an aside, I initially said “surgery” rather than plural surgeries, but who am I kidding?
But (this is a really big “but” and you should really, really pause there before continuing on). But there has to be a balance between professional life and personal life. And I needed to get away. And I want to live my life intentionally and not worry as much about superfluous things. So last Friday, I went to New York City with my beloved Beavers. It was the kind of trip that is rejuvenating in every way. We took the lazy way to get there: day-drinking on the 7 hour train; we had the best kind of itinerary: none; our accommodations were super: 5 girls, 1 bathroom.
It was really just a weekend of getting really cozy with each other and selfie stick. It was perfect because we had all been to New York before, we’ve all done the big touristy highlights, so our weekend was spent wandering out on the Brooklyn Bridge until our faces were frozen and we thought better of going any farther and shopping at Brooklyn Flea on a rainy Saturday. We took subways in the wrong direction and laughed because we weren’t in a hurry and skipped karaoke bars in favor of drinking in our room watching The Hunger Game. Oh, and we happened to wander into the thick of the New York City Half Marathon. Shout out to the crayon costumes, you guys were awesome.
I know I’ve said it a thousand times, but I’ll say it again: I love these women. They are strong, smart, take-no-bullshit, sensitive and independent. They are magnetic and you can’t help but want to be around them, and I am so glad we were able to take this trip. All we did was spend time together, it was simple. I think we all needed it. A testament to our friendship: even after our train was delayed on the way home and we were cramped together for 8 hours, we were still laughing.
In the past, it was a rare occasion if I took time off work and didn’t check my email but I never once felt compelled on this little trip, which speaks volumes to me. In years, I may look back and not remember the details of the trip but I will remember how much I needed to get away from Buffalo and how everything hurt from laughing so hard.
I have a beautiful life with beautiful friends.