Last week my parents treated the whole family (me, Jill, Mom, Dad, Brother John, his wife Jen, and their nine-year-old Claire) to a cruise on the Disney Dream.
This is my second cruise. I sailed on the Disney Wonder ten years ago and very much did not like it. I resolved this time to keep an open mind and try to experience all it had to offer, especially because Mom was looking forward to a great vacation with the whole family, and because Jill really loves cruises and wants me to enjoy them with her.
So let me tell you about everything we did! … No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
Jill runs (or walks) a lot of 5K and half-marathon races with her posse, the Sparkle Sisters. (See sparkleskirts.com.) A few times each year, she’ll go away for a weekend at Disneyland or the Space Coast or even at the nearby Disney World resorts with her friends.I stay home alone with the cats and the dog, and I take advantage of the time to tidy up and tackle some home projects.
This is the first time we’re doing it the other way around, though. She and her friends ran the Pro Bowl 5K at the ESPN Wide World of Sports this morning, and they’re running the Celebration half-marathon tomorrow morning. So Jill and seven of her friends are staying at the house … and I decided it was my turn to get away.
It’s nice to go offline for a while – but not too long a while.
Video games these days give me a lot to do. Jill and Eve and I play Guild Wars 2 together several times a week; it’s got daily challenges (harvest 4 plants in Kryta, finish a level 10 fractal dungeon, find a scenic vista in the Shiverpeaks, &c.) and there are bonus rewards for completing these challenges, and then that requires some housekeeping with our game inventories to find enough space to store all of the rewards. And I also play some Minecraft, which is all about exploring deep caves, but to get into the caves I need some torches and pickaxes, and to craft these items requires that I harvest some wood and some iron and some coal and build an oven to smelt the iron into ingots … it’s a lot to keep up with, really!
I feel like I’ve been approaching life in the same task-based way lately. At work I’ve got my queue of tickets to work on, and if I can catch up with the number that were opened then I can move on to regression-testing our features or upgrading our build tools or organizing our brown-bag knowledge-sharing lunches. And then when I get home there’s a dog to walk and cats to feed and dishes and clothes to wash and bills to pay, and once those are taken care of then there are emails from people who need help with their computers. Every day a fresh set of challenges to complete, and I go a little crazy trying to catch up with everything when there’s so much to do; so I’m kind of in a constant state of slight craziness, and I’m always left feeling like there’s something I’m not doing.
A little time away helps to break the routine. Jill and Eve were going to run the “Amish Country” half-marathon (Adams County, Ohio) this weekend, so I decided to come with Jill so we could visit with Eve for a while. Jill hurt her heel at another half-marathon a few weeks ago so they decided not to run the race – this means that we got a nice long weekend at Eve’s home in Bloomington.
And, of course, my body decided that this would be the perfect time to get sick.