08-21-07: Accepting the gift

This year I decided that going to that thing in the desert was not the financially responsible thing to do. Call me a princefs, but I'm an RV-in-the-desert kind of gal, and I just didn't think blowing $5K for a non-relaxing "vacation" was a good use of my money. I was sad not to be going, and even sadder over the last few weeks as folks around me were making preparations. I resigned myself to staying home, so I gifted my ticket to a beautiful free-spirit who has been dying to go for years but never had the cash. Then, work booked me on a teaching gig in Winnipeg for the week of BMan, so it was official. I definitely wasn't going.

While I tried to comfort myself with sentiments like, "Jill, you travel so much; treat yourself to sitting at home and relaxing for a few days. Skipping the playa will feel nice!", I wasn't buying it.

With my current job, I am on best behavior almost 24/7. When I'm teaching, I am "on stage" for 8 hours straight, typically without a break save for 25 minutes to schkarf down a sandwich. In the evenings back at the hotel, I usually get some takeout/delivery in and work in my room; I rarely relax. If I'm consulting rather than teaching, I cannot goof off or take it easy because I am being sharply watched to make sure I'm worth my $225/hr bill rate. When I finally get home from being on the road, it takes a few days to decompress before I fully relax, and often times I'm not home long enough to unwind before I have to leave again.

I usually am able to blow off steam by going dancing once every few months with the Philadel peeps, but I just haven't been able to swing it. I feel like I've aged five years in these past six months, and I don't like it.
Needless to say, I have some steam to let off. Hitting the playa is the sure way to pop that zit. But it wasn't in the cards.

Anyway, I'll cut to the chase: Enter a friend (a Zebrafish campmate who shall remain nameless) who heard that I wasn't coming because of finances and work. He suggested I accept his gift of a ticket, a tent which would be set up and waiting when I arrived, and food. I told him I couldn't because I had to work Monday -> Thursday in Winnipeg. He encouraged me to come out just from Thursday -> Monday. I said that I just couldn't do it.

But then I wondered why I couldn't... and I didn't have a reason, except my inability to accept a gift because I had nothing to give in return. Of course, that's missing the point of gifting, but I honestly do struggle with the concept of gifts. (I cannot accept kindness for the sake of someone wanting to dish it out... it just doesn't parse. I get suspicious, and then I get worried, which then makes me anxious. F-ing overthinker.)

So I chose to turn this into a learning experience and an opportunity for me to grow a bit.

1) I accepted the offer of a gifted ticket, camp, food, tent and lerve. As requested, I am bringing nothing except clothes. It makes me tremendously uncomfortable, but I think this is a good lesson for me to learn.

2) I am not bringing an RV, obviously; I'm doing the tent-thang. This will also be a good learning experience. And even if I hate it and am miserable, it'll only be for a few days.

3) I am going to practice asking for what I need, instead of trying to be a good sport by sucking up my discomfort until it borders on debilitating. Martyrdom is not cool.

Logistical Stuff:

  • I'll be camping with Camp Zebrafish again, though our camp size is just four people (including me) this year. I'm kinda looking forward to that, really.
  • Patty isn't coming, and I am really, really bummed about this.
  • I don't know where we'll be yet, but there will be a sign posted at K and 5:30 which will direct me to our camp upon my arrival.
  • I arrive Thursday night. (My flight lands in Reno at 7:15pm-ish, and by the time I get through customs, get my gear and rent the car (90 minutes?) plus drive time (another 2 hours), who knows what time I'll reach the playa.)
  • I will only wear leporidaeRN-friendly sunblock in case I see her there. (Um, in addition to clothes.)
  • I am not doing costumes; my focus this year is packing lightly and staying warm at night. I'm tired of shivvering.
  • As always, you can pick me out by my antennae.

    Fortune Teller Miracle Fish today tells me I am: A Dead One. I guess this means my hands are cold. Bleagh.