Here's my Marathon Key "desk." Working outside like this
in 80+ degree heat requires plenty of hydration!
No wonder I’m making no progress letting go. No wonder I’m not feeling it. No wonder vacation mode hasn’t clicked in. It’s not really vacation.
I spent all day at my “desk,” a makeshift work area facing a translucent tropical green canal that I barely noticed. I paused once to contemplate a pelican and I did see the silhouette of a great blue heron. Mostly, though, I tried in earnest to catch up to my responsibilities and I never quite made it. Ask anyone depending on me today.
Work, these days, is a gift. If you’ve got it, you do anything you can to keep it. That means working on vacation. We bring with us everything necessary in terms of tools to do the job — except for the frame of mind. That’s where it gets tricky because some of us remember a time when a vacation was a vacation.
Just being in Marathon Key creates a conflict that takes the best of my energy to manage. Aren’t I here to lollygag?
I’m not saying it’s worse working here than up north because up north, it’s snowing and it will be snowing through Wednesday evening. Everyone at home is complaining, with good reason. I’m not complaining. Not really.
Here, I hop out of bed, take a run and then drop into a plastic chair by the water where I work. Today I took occasional side glances at lizards. I saw a kingfisher chase a gull. And I remembered that my friend once swam with a visiting manatee in this very canal, mere feet from where I’m working.
Is this vacation or not?
At 5 pm I closed my laptop, got up from my “desk,” and said, in a burst of frustration, to Jim, “Let’s get out of here.” He said, “Can I put on my sandals first?”
There is no lesson here. If you have work, you’ve got to do it. Pity those around you who must make sense of the sentence: We are on vacation.