I'm not sure I can make it until June.
That's the next time I have a vacation scheduled. It will be the annual mini-getaway we take each June -- three days. We take a week off in August, and we usually go out of town for one or two days and spend the balance of the time doing things around the house that have fallen by the wayside in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
I don't know about you, but to me the time between New Year's and summer vacation can seem endless. We get days off in November, December and January ... then we're stuck until Memorial Day.
That's a long stretch.
I've been really busy here at the office. On top of that, I am a member of Kiwanis, so I have that meeting every Thursday (I'm supposed to, anyway ... sometimes I simply can't get out of the office to go, although I really do my best). I am active in my church, where I am on the Staff-Parish Relations Committee and am a certified lay speaker. I am also a member of the handbell choir.
Some of the things I cover for the paper are at night. My husband also works for a newspaper, so he has a screwy schedule, too.
It seems like every other day my son brings a note home from school about a carnival, book fair, program or some other activity we have to try to squeeze into our already packed schedules.
By the time we're all in for the night, we're all exhausted.
I've actually fallen asleep on the couch at 7 p.m. and slept all night.
Then there are our families. We promised when we moved away in January of 2008 that we would make a conscious effort to go home regularly.
We've really been good about keeping that promise, although a month or six weeks sometimes elapses between visits.
And time for just Andy and me? Forget about it. Coordinating our schedules is something that just plain never happens. We have to actually sit down with a calendar and block out days six months in advance if we want to get a sitter and go out to dinner.
I try not to think too much about the overall picture of our crammed calendars, because if I do I get so overwhelmed. I try to break things into little pieces and compartmentalize, mentally ticking off one item at a time.
If I am really buried, I will write lists so I can actually see my progress, otherwise I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels and I'll throw up my hands and quit or burst into tears.
Now that we're into March a bit, I'm actually allowing myself to think about June and the short break we have planned. It's quite a while off still, but it gives me something to keep trudging along toward. The tunnel is still long, but I can clearly see the light at the end of it.
It's funny to me that I can so vividly remember being a kid and being so anxious to grow up.
Now that I'm here, it's a lot more work and a lot less glamorous than I thought it would be.
Jamie Barrand is the editor of the Banner Graphic. Her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.