Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Resetting the Grind

Sallie, Matt, and I climbed in the car this weekend and went to Madison Wisconsin.

I think we all needed the break. I've not had more than one consecutive day off since early March, Sal's been working both her jobs, and Matt started a new job that often has him staying late and coming home to collapse. There was a sense of optimism on the car ride up. The complaints that pepper our lives were gone. This was an actual weekend away from it all.

The Hickle kids are cursed with this "Rip Van Winkle" syndrome. Instead of drinking a potion to sleep, they merely have to hear the hum of the car and they both are out. Their eyes were shut the moment we left Missouri.

I didn't really mind this time. I desperately needed some alone time to stare out the windshield, listen to podcasts, and just generally let my brain shutdown to emergency systems only.

We really didn't have an agenda for the weekend. There were a few breweries we wanted to hit in Madison, but we were all happy to just be away.

We woke up when we wanted. Did what we felt like each day. BBQ'd and played yard games. We did exactly what you think about when you see the coming of age stories that take place in the summer.

We went to several breweries: Capital, Great Dane, and Ale Asylum, but the one that stood out was New Glarus.

About 20 minutes south of Madison, through rolling farm hills, filled with cows, in a place where no GPS would work, stood this Disney-like-monument to Switzerland. The brewery had a huge beer garden, surrounded by a fake Swiss Town square on two sides, open to the fields on a third side, and peppered with fake ruins on the last.

In it's weird psuedo-realism, I felt like a child experiencing an amusement park. Only at this one, children are given beers, and told to just hang out in the sun and enjoy. It was the most minimalist time I remember having in years. We had nowhere to be. Nothing to do. Only what we wanted.

The trip reset the grind. I've been working so much and so often that the creative part of my brain was shut off. Every morning, auto-pilot engaged, and I just worked until I met my OT hours. I'm going to continue working overtime while it's offered, but it's nice to have a reboot. Especially since I think OT is coming to an end.