OPINION

Time off is a good thing

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley

Tuesday morning brought me back to the Herald Democrat workforce after a four-day weekend. It was the first long weekends I have had in a very long time, and it made me realize just how important time away can be to those us who are still working from home.

Don't get me wrong. I love my job reporting, and I really like the folks I meet on my beat. I also really like telling our readers all about the interesting things happening around the county. 

But these months since March have been a long hard pull in a lot of ways. I didn't really realize how much so until I started thinking about going back to work on Monday. I was ready to go back, but I was astonished at how much more stuff I had gotten done at home than I would have if I had only had a two-day weekend.

It seems like two days just aren't enough anymore. Generally on vacations, we get excited about getting away from home. And given the fact that I have been working out of mine for all of these months, one might think that was the first thing I wanted to do, but it wasn't. 

I was happy to have some time to really sit and think about some things that I wanted to get done that had been left undone in the daily routine.

They weren't huge or really exciting projects, but they were the things that seemed to get pushed to the side when I only had two days off. For one, I changed some light bulbs. I know that probably sounds funny to anyone under a certain age, but they are way up in ceilings and I am very short. So short, in fact, that I have to actually climb a ladder to get to them and who wants to mess with all of that when one can just turn on a lamp. Not me —not for months. But this past weekend, I went on a light bulb changing spree. Just reading those words makes me think I am very old, but it really is satisfying to do those kinds of projects and mark them off of that to do list. 

Additionally, I changed out the curtains in the space where I work each day. The curtains in the room featured that blackout material on the back and I just couldn't get enough light in here no matter how far I pulled them open. That project also required climbing the ladder which is probably why it took me so long to get it done. 

I also finished some Halloween cards for friends and I hope to that I actually get them in the mail sometime this week so they can see them before the holiday is over. Making the cards was a relaxing activity but it had a perplexing twist. Somewhere inside of my tiny abode, I lost several elements that I cut out to go on the cards. I had just enough cats and hats cut out to go on cards that feature a skeleton and when I went to put the card together I couldn't find a hat or a cat. I looked high and low and in the trash. I even searched the dog's bed but I never found them. I ended up making the card without them. It was at that point, on Sunday afternoon, that I thought maybe my mind had enjoyed as much relaxation as it could stand and I better get back to my routine. Who knows what I might lose next? The dog is sticking close enough to me that she isn't in much danger of being lost, but I think she got used to me having unlimited play time on my mini vacation. All day Tuesday, she kept pawing at me and trying to hand me her toys to throw across the room. That is when she had to learn the hard lesson that all vacations, no matter how sweet, eventually end.

Happy birthday to Maria Edmonson and Ze’Jorian Walker, both of Sherman and Olivia Lyons of Midlothian.