Fat Mogul vs. Coping with Post-Vacation Depression

from buzzfeed, click to see it there.
from buzzfeed, click to see it there.

So, at the time this thing gets published, I’ll have already been back home from a little vacation time with the family for almost a week already.  At the time that I’m writing this…I’m a mere three days away from escaping to the warm and magical.

But even though I’m eagerly awaiting my departure from the land of cheese, I’m already well aware of what awaits me upon my return…the dreaded Post-Vacation Depression.

It’s not like this is all that odd of a thing to expect.  Vacations are often quite the necessary escape from the daily routine.  After months and months (or years and years…) of doing the same things in and out, constantly trying to work toward the end of actually achieving all your goals…or whatever other vague statement of just saying that life is hard you want to use, you need a break.  And that break can be awesome.  I mean, vacation, when done appropriately, is that time when you release yourself from all of your standard responsibilities.  Sure, I may still have to feed, clothe, and entertain my kids (as well as a whole host of other fatherly-type duties), but my other responsibilities, like working 8 hours a day, cleaning, cooking, fixing, as well as grocery shopping, errand-running and all the things that really typically make up the average American’s daily days…those are gone.  Instead, it’s just time to spend specifically with those I love most.

And that’s awesome.  Sure, it can sometimes take a day or two to adjust to the lack of the standard routine…and suddenly having no reprieve from your family can sometimes cause a little bit of tension…but in the end, you’re getting back down to the roots of what a family really is…a group of people working together toward a common goal…the goal, in this case, riding Space Mountain as many times as possible in the course of a week.

But when you get back, you find that all those things you left are still there…and are actually quite a bit worse than when you left them.  Despite your best efforts to get everything out of the house that could cause a stink while you’re away, you enter the house to find the most atrocious stench, get back to work to find hundreds and hundreds of e-mails you need to clear out while also getting caught up on your normal duties, your luggage sits by the door for at least a week, waiting for you to do laundry and unpack at the same time, but you still haven’t even found a moment to sit because you’re just too damned busy trying to catch up.

In other words, it’s often times possible to return from vacation feeling even worse than when you first left.

People often use the phrase, “I need a vacation to recuperate from my vacation”, but I think the reality is more that we are quickly exhausted in paying back for the time we’ve taken off, as our real lives have the nasty habit of not stopping merely because we left town for a few days.

This is very important to realize, which is why I’m highlighting it on my Tidbit Thursday post.  You see, vacations serve very little use if you come back to your real life feeling worse off than when you left.  Which is why you must prepare.  And no, I don’t mean prepare by going absolutely crazy and killing yourself to be as far ahead of everything as possible before you leave.  Sure, that might serve some use, but you’re still going to be behind.  WHat I mean is to prepare for the fact that you’ll be behind when you get back.  Maybe you’ll want to give yourself a couple extra days to recover at home, get some of the cleaning and whatnot taken care of before you return to your standard life.

My suggestion, just recognize that you’re going to be behind for a while, and use every opportunity you can to take that feeling of being behind as a reminder of why you’re behind.  Your business partners might not appreciate you falling behind on any deadlines…and I don’t have any cure for that…but I can state, quite simply, that if you use every reminder that you’re behind as a reminder for why you’re behind, you have a better chance of actually coping with the feelings of depression that can come upon you after leaving your happy place…whereever that may be.

Also, there’s one more thing I can suggest, which may help out, if ever-so-slightly.  Make sure to go on vacation mentally as well as physically.  If you spend your time away thinking about all the things you’re going to have to do when you get back…you’re never going to actually even enjoy your time away.  And that’s a real tragedy.

So, as I prepare for getting out of town (mostly by trying to do things like get ahead on blog posts, and cleaning the house, and whatever the heck else I’m supposed to do today), I’m happy to tell you that I will be depressed when I come back from vacation.  But it won’t be because of all the work I’ll have to do…it’ll be because I’ll miss being able to just get out and have fun with my family all day every day.

And also…because I still won’t have ridden Space Mountain enough times yet…

Have fun out there!

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