Sunday, February 19, 2012

Presidents' Day...My 1st holiday

Tomorrow is Presidents’ Day…another day off from school and time off from work for many employees.  This year it means more than that to me; selfishly is means the last day before I start my new job. 

It still feels strange saying that…my new job.
I guess now I can look forward to the holidays just like everyone else.  Being self-employed the past 12 years, holidays did not guarantee a day off from work; it just meant I did not have to bother with getting my boys out of bed and off to school.

Now, holidays will actually mean taking a day off; although any day off for me will mean a whole day I can spend on writing.  It’s a good trade off, especially if it means I’m earning holiday pay while I get to sit home and write.  That’s quite a bonus, now that I think about how many holidays there are throughout the year.
Another aspect with my new job is the condition that I work around someone else’s schedule before I take a vacation.  On the plus side, I’ll actually get paid to take a vacation.  Now there’s a concept I’m not used to as a business owner.  I’ve been able to take vacation whenever I want to but the stress involved with making it possible to take a vacation is not something I’ll miss anytime soon.

The last real vacation I took was a two and a half week road trip through nine states.  This was actually the third of three long road trips we were able to venture out on with our boys.  While road trips aren’t for everyone, we enjoyed ourselves very much.  I’ll get more into detail about the actual trips during a couple of Friday Favorites posts because the trips truly are one of my favorite things when it comes to what our family has been able to experience together.
The main goal for the road trips was to view national monuments, national and state parks, museums, amusement parks and other large attractions.  On our last road trip, we traveled to South Dakota where we finally saw firsthand…

Can you guess? 
We saw Mount Rushmore, of course.  It is Presidents’ Day tomorrow, after all.

I will admit, out of all the monuments, parks and museums we visited, Mount Rushmore was not high on my list of must-see attractions.  Other than looking at enormous rock carvings, I certainly did not think it would come close to the beauty of the Utah state and national parks or the breathtaking views surrounding the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming or the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  I assumed Mount Rushmore could not possibly capture my interest as the ghost towns did in Montana or the Winchester Mystery House and Hearst Castle during our travels in California.
But I was wrong.  Yes, believe it or not…although I am an Aries, I will admit when I’m wrong.

Up close and personal, Mount Rushmore was an awesome sight to behold.  It was remarkable.  The feat of carving out the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln is difficult to comprehend, especially now that I have seen the enormity of the monument first hand.  This was a job that took 14 years to complete after 800 million pounds of stone were removed from the mountain; talk about tenacity!  Workers carved out eyes that measure 11 feet across, mouths that are 18 feet wide and noses 20 feet long, giving us an almost perfect likeness to each president with a 60 foot carving of each face.  The carvings sit 5,500 feet above sea level and the workers had to climb 506 steps daily just to reach the top. 

Imagine climbing 506 steps just to get to work! 
I think I’d be asking for a raise.

There are days when I may feel as if my goals or expectations in life are an uphill battle but in fact, like the 506 steps the workers at Mount Rushmore had to tackle every day, it just takes one step at a time to reach your goal or to eventually meet your expectations.  Indeed, it’s something to remember as I resolve to accomplish as much as I can on a daily basis; just one tenacious step after another and eventually, I will get there.

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