Okay so I'm not doing very well with this whole blogging every day for a month thing... Maybe December isn't the best month for it given all the family functions and work parties and happy hours and baking/cooking/eating? Well either way, I'm glad I at least attempted something like this because it has reminded me how much I love not only writing, but sharing that writing! I have an entire little notepad filled with blog ideas and half a dozen unfinished posts in the works so while I'm maybe not the most consistent blogger, at least you can expect to see something new here occasionally.
This morning on the drive in to work I started thinking about the major office topic of conversation right now which is what to do with the unused PTO people have accrued. While this doesn't affect me (still being a temp and all - but hopefully not for long!) it has been heavily debated amongst my girlfriends and co-workers. Apparently the bank has mandated that team members may only carry over 5 PTO days into 2010. This has sort of always been the unspoken rule in my business line but I gather its been loosely enforced in theirs. You can imagine the panic of people when they realize that there aren't enough days left in the year for them to use up their PTO, even if they took every day off until the end of the year! (This announcement actually came out mid-October and there STILL weren't enough work days in 2009 for some.)
This got me thinking about how, as a child when my mom worked for the VA or the Army, she would get regular leave/PTO and then something exciting called "use or lose" leave. Now, I LOVED use or lose leave y'all. It resulted in many last-minute trips out of town and as a child I absolutely ADORED going anywhere that required a hotel room and a long drive, or better yet an airplane ride! As an adult I can see both the benefits and the drawback to such a system. On one hand it forces you to take time away from work for rejuvenation (absolutely essential in my book) but on the other if things at work are such that you can't just pick up and leave before that time expires well... that kind of sucks right?
But what an interesting concept - use or lose. No one wants to "lose" something, but maybe it takes the threat of loss to make us value it? What if we had use or lose time with our friends and family? Wouldn't most of us make a more concerted effort to connect? What about all those things you are saving for a rainy day... what if the rainy day never comes? Or if it does finally come and those things aren't there anymore?
On TheBoy's and my first anniversary he took me wine tasting in Napa. Keep in mind that prior to dating TheBoy, my experience with wine was limited to a handful of wine coolers filched from my mom's fridge or that Wild Vines crap that used to be so popular (half juice, half wine, full hangover!) so wine tasting for me back then was the most exciting and romantic thing I could think of to do. At one of the wineries we visited I absolutely LOVED this the one bottle of wine. A $70 bottle of wine no less. After much deliberation I purchased one bottle of the stuff thinking we would save it and drink it when we got engaged, to celebrate. Needless to say, my novice wine storing techniques were far from perfect and that bottle never made it. I dumped it down the drain one night, blinking back tears, thinking it was an ill omen for my relationship.
Oh the melodrama! But I'm a different gal now... I am no longer saving things "for a special occasion" because every day is a special occasion! If I want to drink champagne or that great bottle of wine we just bought I'm doing it! With friends, at home with the hubby, hell, even by myself, if I'm alive and healthy and happy then its a special occasion so I say celebrate! For YEARS I've been packing around all these fancy Christmas-y candles that I would put out on display but never burn, but not this year baby! I used to look in my closet and think "that outfit is too dressy for x" or "those shoes are really more for summer" but now, screw it, it I want to wear a silk dress or pink sandals with flowers on them in the middle of winter who cares? I might freeze to death, but I'll look cute and feel great doing it!
So what do you think? Anyone want to start burning the fancy candles, drink out of the crystal glasses or eat off the fancy china just because? Do we think we can make our relationships a higher priority? I'm challenging myself, and you I suppose, to let no opportunity go un-experienced, leave nothing unsaid between you and your loved ones, drink the champagne, spend time studying things that interest you, wear the cute shoes (weather be damned!) and be grateful for everything you have. Every day.