I was overdue for a much-needed vacation. I scheduled the time off. I had three big items on my agenda to take care of before I was able to walk out the door.
First, I needed to train someone to do my job while I was gone. The second thing I needed to do was to work at the Solo & Small Firm Conference, exhibiting for the referral service. I planned to visit with attorneys who are members of our service, some who are not, and see if I could recruit some new lawyers to join. The third item--I needed to catch up my regular work at the office so that when the substitute came in, he could answer the phones and make referrals without any other distractions. Yeah, that's kinda like people who clean their house before the hired housecleaner comes to clean, right? (No, I do not have a housecleaner -- I'M the housecleaner).
I got those three things done. I left for vacation. Nice, huh? Yep, it was! I took a road trip back home to the east coast and then flew back to Missouri. I had a great time! Now I'm back and I'm paying for that vacation and I'm paying a big price.
At home, I had a week's worth of newspapers sitting on the coffee table -- waiting to be read. There's a couple of magazines in that pile too. The mail -- opened -- glanced at -- thrown on the desk to be handled later. I'm way behind in email responses to friends and family. The bank statement needs to be reconciled. There are bills that need to be paid. I need to go grocery shopping. The birdfeeders are empty. The plants needs to be watered. I have plans and so I'll be gone again for another day. I'm thinking right about now, I probably look about as good as the houseplants -- wilted and weary.
When I returned to work -- I had a week's worth of stuff I left behind relating to the conference I attended before I left. Oh yeah...I forgot. I have to do all those follow-ups. I haven't touched them. I acclimated myself back to the phones and potential clients who are calling for referrals to attorneys. I forgot how often people holler on the phone at me because "no one will help them" or how they "can't afford an an attorney". I had a call from a woman who screamed, "This isn't even America anymore! No one cares and no one will help me!" She wanted a free attorney. I don't have free attorneys. I told her it's still America though.
The young man who handled the phones while I was gone did a good job. (Thank you, Rudie!) I had to process lots of leftover paperwork. I did that. Posted notes in client and attorney files. Posted payments. I had a pile of letters from prisoners I had to respond to -- I did that and mailed them out. I answered the phones, referred potential clients to attorneys for legal advice...and slowly, I'm catching back up -- but I've lost my "after-vacation glow".
I'm thinkin' it's a pretty good time to "bubble up" -- What's that? Well, I made it up. You just stop. You create your own little bubble around you in your own little world and shut all the crap out. Your own bubble protects you -- like an invisible shield.
Going on vacation is stressful and so is returning. I think I may get up a little earlier than my usual time tomorrow -- so I can "bubble up". I'll dig out the book I started on vacation that's still in my suitcase, get a cup of coffee, go out on the porch, and peacefully read.
Yep, you can't touch me -- I'm goin' to the bubble.