As it happens, when I reported for jury duty yesterday, I was told that the case for which I had been called up had been settled out of court over the weekend. Since I had already made arrangements regarding work, and it would have been...bad of me to undo those arrangements, I ended up having a day with my family, about which I am pleased. It was a good day. (And I still stand by my point about jury duty informing the breadth of the secondary and undergraduate curricula. There are other reasons, of course, but for the civic-minded, it should be somewhat more convincing than most of those others.)
There is always a cost, of course. That I spent so good a day with my people as I did yesterday means that I have to work all the harder today. There are the arrangements I made to cover work with which I must deal, in addition to the regular things that go along with Monday teaching. There are also the many papers I have to write--that I knocked out one conference does not mean I am done. And then, of course, Ms. 8 needs attention. (Indeed, she is growing quickly, with a healthy set of lungs and a healthy appetite--and she still is not supposed to have been born yet!) Each is needful, if for different reasons, and each must get itself done soon if it is to be done at all (save for the baby, of course, which is ongoing and so s never really "done.")
It is for such reasons that I am not thrilled to take days off--ever. Even in elementary and secondary schools, I recognized that having to play catch-up is worse than simply enduring the routine. It is part of the reason that I never played hooky as a kid. (Only part. Another is that the truancy officers in my hometown were vigilant, and the town was small enough to allow them to be so.) It is why I do not tend to take "mental health days" even in places that actually offer me leave time in which I can do so without penalty to my paycheck. I simply do not feel having the extra time is worth the effort of getting caught up once the extra time is done; better to get done and be free of things than to take a break and play hell coming back in.
Usually. Like I said, yesterday was a good day. But I still find myself here again, writing, and I will soon find myself in another place, writing about a number of other things--some of which may even make some sense. For that is, of course, the way of it; work on The Work and on what supports my efforts in it goes on throughout the term and beyond, and while there may be some time to relax and enjoy, there is more that must be given over to efforts to increase what is known and the number of people by whom it is known.