Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Creep

Normally, I would consider the ability to pack up a bag and do my work from nearly anyplace to be an awesome job perk. I'm rarely "stuck in the office" until the pre-dawn hours of the morn, an experience my corporate friends report with great frequency. Sure I'm often up until 3, but I'm in my bed with my cat and access to my fridge and TV breaks. Or I'm reading for comps on the beach during a summer weekend trip. Even when I'm stuck at the airport or waiting for my car to be fixed, I can do work.

This perk really comes back to bite me at the holidays.

First of all, whenever I go to visit family during Christmas I inevitably show up with 2 bags: one with clothes, toiletries, the usual, and the other with books, papers, exams, binders, and highlighters. Then I have to beg off to go set up shop, try to get my computer to recognize their internet, and disappear for hours at a time. I hate it because it's rude and I miss out on social time, but it's necessary. The flip side of being able to do work anywhere is that there is rarely a true day off.

For me work has a way of creeping in at Christmas the most. I think it's a combination of Christmas being extremely busy and all the eggnog. We go snow tubing and when we're done I throw my snowsuit off and holler, "GOTTA GO READ!" before grabbing a cup of hot chocolate and retreating to a pocket of some room now dedicated to the giant pile of books I've brought in.

I've been fortunate that about 90% of people I spend holidays with are more amused than annoyed by my academic antics. My boyfriend's mother has taken to referring to the guest room as my "office" and this year lent me her amazing bed-chair device to use to finish writing the bazillion pages I had left. Also I've discovered that eggnog is a helpful writing aid and there was a steady supply of the stuff for the duration of writing.

But I'm proud of me -- I didn't work at all on Christmas Day, save for reading a book for half an hour while waiting for a reasonable hour to wake everyone up to open presents. This is an improvement over last year's post-Christmas dinner write-a-thon.

For those who celebrate Christmas, I hope you actually got to celebrate it instead of work through it. Right now I'm working on clearing my schedule enough to enjoy New Year's Eve!

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