My one day vacation from life.
|Word Count: 1180 words
It was Tuesday. Like most Tuesdays, I would get ready for work, get in the car and drive across town to park, go into the building and sit in front of a computer all day. Most of us do that. Then there are those, unknown to me, who do what they want daily. Some golf, play tennis with a friend, some visit people they haven't seen in days, weeks, or months.
This Tuesday was different. My supervisor had explained on Monday, that he would be gone for the rest of the week because he was having a procedure done. Most bosses would choose someone to take over for them, but in this case, he was closing the office until he came back. While the idea of a day off would generally entail taking care of the stuff we couldn't get done, because we work, his idea was that everyone would take a vacation day and go play.
HUH? Play? This coming from a man who wouldn't know play if someone showed him how, explained the benefits and provided extra money to do said "playing". But the facts were that the whole staff would get a bonus that afternoon to go "play" on Tuesday and report back to him the following Monday.
I, like so many others, took a bunch of work that I could do at home since the office would be closed. After all, he was only paying for one day of "play" not the whole week. So by quitting time, I had packed away enough work to keep me busy and catch me up and was waiting in the hallway for him to call me in. I wasn't sure if this was such a good idea, but I followed through as instructed.
"Jennifer Martin?" his secretary's voice called out.
As I approached her desk, she responded, "He will see you now."
Her demeanor had changed. She knew the secrets we all would only speculate about.
"Ms. Martin, please have a seat." Mr. Jenkins said as I came in. "I am sure you have many questions. Let me assure you that the procedure is an easy process and I will be fine. I have been ordered by my doctor to take the rest of the week off and that is why you also are getting the rest of the week off. You will continue to be paid in full, and on time, for the days I'm off. Do you have any questions?"
Mr. Jenkins was usually a mild-mannered man who knew how to accomplish his goals and inspire others to do the same. Now, his temperament was a little off. It was nothing definitive I could put my finger on, just "off".
"Will you tell me what procedure you are having, please?" I asked respectfully.
"It won't matter in a week or so, just don't worry about me," he said. Something about him made me question the statement, but I said nothing.
"Here is your bonus," he said handing me an envelope. "And by the way, you can leave the work here. It will still be here when you return on Monday. Now go have fun!" He tried to say with enthusiasm.
Puzzled, I stood. "Get better soon." I fumbled for coherent words which were not available, took the envelope and departed.
I left the building and thought about all the "procedures" I had ever heard of which would require almost a week to recuperate. I really could think of none. Most procedures would allow you to return to work the next day, or even within hours, but almost a week wasn't making sense. While my co-workers were planning their "play" day, I was trying to figure out what was going on.
The next morning dawned beautifully. The birds were singing, the sky was cloudless, the air smelled clean and this was to be my "play" day. I had a leisurely breakfast while deciding my course of action. I chose to take a walk by the lake. Within about thirty minutes, I was ready to go. Backpack in hand, I locked the door and drove to the lake.
Many people were out today. I saw picnic tables being set up with food, children laughing and chasing each other, while others lounged, or hiked. I locked the car, backpack in hand and set out to take in life.
I proceeded to the hiking trail that ran beside the lake. It only took me a mile in before it fanned out in many directions. I chose to stay within sight of the lake. I decided to stop for a break a couple of hours in. Sitting on a boulder, I noticed the decaying trees and leaves. I saw squirrels chasing each other. Just as the lead squirrel jumped to an adjoining tree, something caught my attention. Sitting still, I slowly turned my head to catch a deer looking back at me. His tawny colored coat glistened in the filtering daylight. He stopped to munch on some grasses, then darted away. A child had squealed for joy, which scared the buck. Then is when I wish I would have brought my camera.
After resting for a while, I proceeded along the small trail. I glanced at the lake and noticed a large fish who had jumped out of the water and was returning to the safety of its confines. It had a beautiful rainbow-like effect as the sun played on its individual scales shedding different hues of color out from them. My phone camera would not be able to take a picture of this sight!
About lunchtime, I decided to stop again. I pulled out the granola bar and meal-replacement drink to have for lunch. Again I sat down and watched the lake. I was close enough to hear the water lapping at the edge. I love that sound! It was very relaxing for me to hear any naturally occurring sounds of water moving. A stream, a river, a lake, the ocean, it was all calming and rejuvenating to me.
After eating and enjoying all the sounds of nature, I decided to go home. It had been a wonderful morning out looking at the different way the branches bent, the different colors of the leaves. Even down to the different colors of spring flowers. The warm sun filtered down to me and everything else in this place. I would love to have a cabin here. But the realities of life cause you to think differently about being disconnected from others.
I packed everything away and headed back the way I had come. The lake stayed on my right side going back. Once along the trip back, I saw a fisherman pull a large fish out of the lake. He was very happy with his catch. Within a couple of hours, I was unlocking my car door and sliding behind the steering wheel. It's too bad I don't paint. There would have been several paintings of today I would have liked to have. Memories of a day off because of a procedure.