I'm still feeling out of sorts after the conference last week. In the past, I've taken a day or two off the week of the conference to try and get myself back into my regular rhythm, but this year that wasn't an option. There have been staffing shortages for months now, and I feel an obligation to be present as much as possible.
After all, even when I go in every day, there's still more work than I can accomplish in a single day. Taking a day off, even when I rather need the break, hasn't been a good option in the last few months. But I am now running into a peculiarity of the system in which I work. I am approaching the limit on the number of vacation hours I can accrue.
It's time to use it or lose it.
I never thought I'd get there. I've known other people who reached the limit, and, internally, I half scoffed and half awed at them. Never, thought past-me, would I be able to spend so much time working that I'd come up to the use-it-or-lose-it limit.
But here I am. And I have no intention of losing the hours that I have worked hard to earn.
That is going to mean continued breaks to my rhythm. Days that I take off because I have to take something. It's a good thing. Now that I've reached that limit, I can see that I have gotten to the point where I need to be "forced" to take some time off of work. I've scheduled three days in the next five weeks, and I don't have any plans for those days, other than "not working."