It's been a real luxury to have so much time off around the holidays this year. I don't think the novelty of it will wear off for a few years, at least.
I've been able to keep the house cleaner and tidier than usual with all this extra time. I got the Christmas tree down and packed away yesterday without too much stress. It's nice to see the living room put back in order. A major cold front is moving in (we may even have some snow and ice over the weekend) and I plan to make a big pot of vegetable soup with the leftover ham and hambone from Christmas. I may even bake a cake.
The days off work have been useful in another way, too. Gregg has inherited a third of an IRA from his mom, and the application to open a new account had to be faxed in ASAP so that we wouldn't have to pay a large tax penalty for not taking out the "required minimum distribution" before December 31. Given that she died on December 4 that didn't leave much time to figure out all the complicated paperwork, even with the (almost expert) help of Edythe's husband Lou. I've had to exchange several emails with the investment company, and Lou, and travel back and forth to a UPS store to send faxes....all things I wouldn't have much time for if I were at work. It's been a huge help to Gregg for me to take on the paperwork for this. All he's had to do is sign in a couple of places. I do hope the rest of Edythe's estate won't be as complicated for him to inherit. This IRA thing has required a small crash course in investing for me and has been a real pain, to boot.
I've also had time during this break to catch up with friends I haven't seen in a while. I met my friend Susan for breakfast today. She's such a good friend to me, and as a cancer survivor herself, she was just the person I needed to talk to about Gregg's upcoming PET scan. She went through almost the same scenario a year ago, and it turned out to be nothing but scar tissue. She's convinced that will be the case with him, too. I hope she's right! I also got to hear about how her son Alexander (a former coworker of mine that I really like) and his wife are doing. We ended up talking over coffee for almost 3 hours! She's a teacher, so she's on the same holiday break as me.
The only plans I have for the rest of my time off is to do a little bit of decluttering and organizing in the house. We have several cupboards and closets that desperately need cleaning out, and I can do it at my leisure over the next few days. It will be nice to start the new year with a cleaner, more orderly home than usual after the busy holiday season. Once again, I'm beyond grateful for my new job.