(Actually not that hazy, thankfully. But I couldn't think of another title, lol.)
We are -- at long last -- on vacation. In the middle of a two-week stay with my parents. This wasn't exactly the vacation I wanted, but it's the vacation I got, and I am trying to make the most of it. It's slightly earlier in the summer than we usually come... but it was hard to get two weeks that suited everyone's busy schedules (not just our own), and this was the best we could do. Even so, my sister could not get time off work while I was here; the Princess is (sadly) on her own family vacation, although we will see her before we leave. So it's just me & dh and my parents.
And it is quiet. Almost a little too quiet, perhaps -- but I think it's mostly what I needed (for the first while, anyway), after some stress-filled days/weeks/months at work. Reading -- books and blogs (I've finished two books since we got here and am now on a third, so expect some reviews in the near future) -- sleeping in late, staying up later to play cards & dominos, taking walks around this little town, popping in at the bakery for coffee & doughnuts (much to the curiosity of the regular locals), and stuffing myself silly with my parents' wonderful cooking. :)
I realized, before we left, that I had taken only one vacation day & one personal day (for a lengthy medical appointment) since Christmas. Clearly, I needed a vacation. I am trying not to think about work and what awaits when I get back. I try to remember that it's just a little over 18 months until my 55th birthday & early retirement, if I want it.
My mother doesn't seem to want to hear me talk about early retirement, though. I've noticed whenever I mention it, she will make some comment about how "oh, someone better keep working" and about how dh & I will drive each other crazy being in the same house all days long. (My father, at 75, still goes into the office most days, albeit his workload and pace is much slower than it was even just a few years ago.)
Her comments irk me for reasons I can't entirely explain. While I tend to think of her as being a stay-at-home mom, she did almost always work herself, when I was growing up and continuing after I left home -- but with the exception of a few years of full-time work while I was in grade school, it was only ever part time, and she retired at 65. She & my dad have always lived in small towns where the commute has never been longer than a short walk or even shorter drive. They've always lived close enough to the workplace to come home to eat lunch. (My dad even takes a nap & watches "The Young & The Restless" before returning to work!!) While she has certainly worked hard all her life and faced her own challenges (including raising two kids, which I will admit I've never done, and cared for aging parents), she has never gotten up at 5 a.m. & commuted to & from a full-time, high-stress job, 10 hours a day, five days a week, for 24 years (I've actually been working for 28, but we've been living in our house & commuting for 24).
Maybe she's genuinely concerned that we will need the additional income that working longer would bring -- although she also makes occasional cracks to the contrary about the supposed size of our bank account (I've gotten snide remarks from people in the past about how rich we must be since we don't have kids... but from my own mother...??!!).
Maybe she's concerned that once I retire, I'll be home more often to check up on her. ;)
Maybe she just doesn't want to be reminded that she has a daughter who is almost old enough to retire (because that would mean she is HOW old??). ;)
At any rate, if there's one lesson I've learned over the years, it's that, even when its doesn't turn out exactly as we've planned, life (and vacation) is too short not to be enjoyed.