Wednesday, March 29, 2006

When Does My Vacation Start?

When I left work yesterday, little fires were kicking up in all corners. It was not one of those leave-a-clean-desk, twiddle-your-thumbs last days before vacation. We have a major deadline on Friday that is being carefully watched by Congress and others. I felt like a real jerk telling my staff they might have to work this weekend and then walking out to go on vacation.

Even today I have been on the phone and reading e-mail trying to give them whatever help I could provide to resolve the problems that haven’t yet been extinguished. It’s hard just to turn it all over to them – knowing that they are the capable people that they are – and turn off work. I’m probably going to be calling from the airport to get a last-minute update on processing status. It’s like a mother role that I have a hard time relinquishing, even for 10 days.

I managed to pack my single suitcase last night, staying up way later than I usually do. I never use a list. I just throw in whatever appeals to me at the last minute. I have the essential toothbrush, change of underwear, hat, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes. Most everything else is simply optional. I’m never one of those people who bemoans leaving something behind. For 10 days, you can simply deal with it in most cases.

I am so looking forward to this learning trip with 30 other people from Temple Micah, including our rabbi Danny. We will learn about each other as we explore this mysterious, fascinating, ancient country that gave birth to our religion. We will sing Jewish songs on the bus. We will eat falafel until we want to throw up. We will look at the fence with an odd mix of shame, curiosity, anger, and understanding. No doubt we will debate issues like the idea that Jews are a chosen people, never coming to real answers but adding a lot more things to consider.

As I step on the El Al plane that will take us from New York to Ben Gurion Airport, I am sure that I will be more than ready to leave all concerns about work on US soil and immerse myself in 10 days of adventure in Israel.

I hope to be posting from Israel, with pictures if I can figure out how to use my new camera. So check in!

3 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

Again, I am very excited for you! I hope that you can find time and access to post. I'd love to hear about your trip while it happens; though, I'll happily wait until you get home.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Peg said...

Barbara,
Have a wonderful and exciting trip. I'm looking forward to hearing EVERY detail when you return.
Love,
Peg

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Bengal said...

Barbara, twenty years from now, no one will remember how much work you left unfinished on your desk or what your staff did without you. So, as they'd say in The Big Apple, "fuhgeddaboudit!" And as we'd say in Honolulu, Aloha! Bon voyage, be safe, come back filled with wonderful experiences and memories to last a lifetime.

4:51 PM  

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