Thursday, March 18, 2010

Two Week Vacation to do Nothing

So it's Thursday night of the second week of my two week vacation and now the end feels so near. The first week seemed to last forever and this second week is going so fast, and I don't want it to end.

Not that I've done anything or gone anywhere… For the month or so before I took it I was missing more work than I ever have before with sick days because of the wretched headache that wouldn't go away. And since I hadn't taken a vacation in well over a year I figured I could get two weeks off.

I didn't really want to do anything. I didn't want to go anywhere. Since at the beginning I had a pretty nasty headache I certainly couldn't imagine flying anywhere, and what the plane trips would do to my head, and neither do I have any wish at all to travel within India at this point (I need to get out of India for a couple of years before I consider seeing more, as all I'd notice now are beggars, dirt, litter, trash and I'm so burnt out on spicy food I wouldn't appreciate anything in other regions).

The last week I was at work was the first week I was on the medication from the neurophysician for the headache (he said it was "just a migraine" even though I insisted it felt different than the migraines I've had on a regular basis since I was a teenager), two pills a night, small doses of a beta blocker and an antidepressant, which I looked up online and are standard treatment for migraines.

But the first week of those was a nightmare, I was tired, sleepy, dopey and worst of all, depressed. That week at work I felt so defeated and low I wasn't sure I could even last out the week taking them. Fortunately that didn't last too long, and by the end of the week those side effects eased off.

Unfortunately, when they eased off, the headache was back, but much lower in intensity. It was there a few days during the first week of my vacation, too, but by the end of the week was gone.

So, this vacation I mainly just wanted to laze about, relax, sleep when I was tired, stay awake when I wasn't, read a lot, eat a little, and eat for me instead of eating because Leena felt I should eat. I did that…

Sure, Leena makes a small face and is obviously disappointed every time she asks "are you hungry?" and I say "no". But I actually feel a lot better for not eating when I'm really not hungry.

I've read a 1200 page novel, and I've downloaded and watched a lot of movies. Granted, I deleted a lot, too, because the Torrent downloads turned out to be unwatchable quality or not in English. But it's easy to search for a torrent, leave the computer downloading overnight and then have one or two new movies to watch the next night.

I realized I fell way behind on the usual web comics I read, but I'm catching up this evening.

I did my 2006-2008 tax forms and mailed them off. I moved the Learning Rails book on top of the Real World Haskell book, so I'm one step closer to trying to learn Ruby on Rails programming…

We got an air conditioner installed in the room where I sleep so hopefully I can be more comfortable at night. We got a new one for Leena's room, but the first unit was defective so we still need the installers to come back and install the replacement unit.

We've been to Leena's family's house for lunch a couple of times. Her mother took us to the Royal Connaught Boat Club for lunch last Monday.

And yesterday we went to follow up with the neurophysician. And waiting at Jehangir Hospital in the OPD waiting room was the first headache I had in almost a week… I guess it was the noise, the crowds, the chaos, the fluorescent lights and the tension of waiting and waiting and waiting and worried that patients more aggressive will jump their turn in line to see the doctor.

But I think that may have answered the question Leena asked me earlier in the day, whether the lack of headaches was because of the medication or the vacation. I'm leaning towards the vacation and the less stressful days. But the real test will be next week when I return to work.

So, all in all, it's been a relaxing couple of weeks. I've always heard other people say they have to work, or can't imagine life without working, but me? I need an income, but I feel no great compulsion to have to work. If the money could come in (and we're not talking about being rich, just enough to be comfortable) and I didn't have to work, I'd be happy not working...


  1. Man, me too. Not that writing software wouldn't be a big part of how I'd spend my newly-unemployed time, because I do love that (and appreciate the extremely good fortune of being paid to do something I like). But there are a billion interesting ways to spend your time besides the few things that comprise "work". I think I could keep myself entertained for centuries.

  2. I know what you mean about being fortunate to have a job doing what you like. There's been times in my career when I've thought "wow, I can't believe I get paid to do this fun stuff" (never mind that time I got paid overtime to test a previous employer's software compatibility with then-popular games...).

    Although I think if I wasn't working long days every day I'd probably have more energy at home to play with technology instead of being so wiped out that I think "tomorrow". On the other hand, I have an almost complete lack of ideas. There's thing I want to learn but I just don't have an idea of what to accomplish to give me direction.

    But yeah, there's so much else to do. I can keep myself entertained without work. Here in India it's mostly reading, but if I was in the U.S. there'd be so much more I'd love to spend my free time doing.

    When I've been between jobs in the past I filled my days with cooking, baking, brewing and painting in addition to the usual reading, writing and programming. But here in India I just don't have a clue where to get things like ingredients or supplies, and we've been on the list for a second gas cylinder, to use my oven, for about four years, but the gas company doesn't have the capacity to give existing customers second cylinders right now.

    I asked my brother-in-law about do-it-yourself types of things but he said that in India anyone who can afford to do it themselves can afford to hire laborers to do it, so there's no culture of DIY and no places to go and get decent quality supplies in any sort of way I'd be accustomed to shopping. And for things like brewing the only options would be imported winemaking kits or yeast in supplies for commercial scale brewing as nobody does that at home.

    Oh well, hopefully before the year is out I'll be back there.