Surviving the first day back from the holidays
So it’s the day after New Year’s, and here you are. Yesterday, you were drinking up the leftover eggnog and watching football games and eating an entire ham all by yourself. Today, you’re sitting at your desk, blurry eyed and irritable. What happened? I’ll tell you what happened. Fun time is over. It’s the day after a holiday and now you’re back at work. Didn’t we all just do this last week? Well, we would have, except we probably all took off every day in between Christmas and New Year’s to make a big, super holiday, and now it’s done and you’re at work again. Darn you, unimpeded march forward through time!
Now that we’ve determined how you got into this mess, what are we to do about it? How do you get through today? Here’s some tips from an old hand. And by old hand, I mean person who is making this up as he goes along.
Lots of coffee. Yes, technically speaking your recovery day was New Year’s Day, because you did all your caterwauling on New Year’s Eve night. That’s why you have New Year’s Day off in the first place, to recover from New Year’s Eve, the actual holiday. So why the coffee? Well, your sleep schedule is pretty well right off the tracks, what with the no sleep you got the night before and you probably not getting enough sleep last night. So the coffee is how you stay awake. And alive.
Take some time to reminisce. Hey, you remember how awesome the holidays were? All the fun stuff you did? How many presents did you get this year? It was a lot, right? Those were some great times. And now they’re in the past, and you don’t get to do that again until next year. Better yet, your next work holiday isn’t until May! That’s right! Four months from now! In hindsight, maybe reminiscing was a bad idea. Let’s move on.
Get your work done. You’ve been off for, what, two weeks or something? See that big pile of papers on your desk? That’s all the stuff you have to do. Yeah, bet you didn’t know your job didn’t take a holiday just because you did. Get to work now! Except…
Don’t get to work now. At least not quite yet. Give yourself an hour or so to get back into the flow of things. Try to remember how you used to do your job. That thing in front of you is a keyboard. See all the letters on it? Hit those keys in the order of the letters that you want to write. Start slowly. You don’t want to hurt yourself. Once you remember what you’re doing, then you can get back to your job.
More coffee. Who told you to stop? I didn’t. Keep drinking. There is literally nothing else keeping your heart going right now.
Idle chat with coworkers. See all those people around you right now? Why do they look so familiar? Those are your coworkers. You used to work with them last year. And now you get to work with them this year too. Talk to them. They may or may not remember you. Regardless, I bet they have some fun stories from what they did over the holidays. Pretend that you care.
Sigh wistfully. You are sad. There is no other way around it. And there is no reason why you should have to hide it. Make a big production out of how depressed you are. People need to know that you would rather not be here today. But then…
Become unnervingly excited about your job. That’s right, champ. You can turn on a dime, and that’s exactly what you’re going to do now. You’re back at work again! They’re paying you to be here! Those dumb holidays and your stupid family kept you away from your place of work for too long, but now it’s over and you are back at doing the one thing in the world that you are the very best at doing. Revel! Are you reveling? Because you should. It’s good to be alive!
Lunch. You’ve got more ham left in the fridge at home, right? Of course you do. You couldn’t eat that entire ham. That was too much ham. Today, you are having sandwiches.
Sleep with your eyes open. Also, it would help if you could type while you’re sleeping. Better yet, if you could continue doing your work as usual except be asleep at the same time. Wouldn’t that be great? Yeah, it would, but it’s also impossible. No sleeping! You have work to do!
More coffee still. YES, EVEN THE GROSS BLACK STUFF AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POT. DRINK ALL OF IT.
Finish your work for the day a couple hours early. Now it’s 3, and you got everything done you needed to do today. Guess what? The last two hours of today are like a whole new holiday! A holiday that you spend at your desk, not able to go home, and nobody buys you anything. Still, a holiday’s a holiday, right? Your holiday should have a name.
Think of a name for your holiday. Bill’s Day? Billsmas? Billnukah? Your name is Bill, right?
Go home. Day’s over and it’s back to the thing you were missing. Take the rest of the day off. You’ve earned it, buddy.
And there you are. You survived the first day back from the holidays. Now, tomorrow is just like every other day, and every other day is a thing you’ve done thousands of times before. Congratulations, member of the working class of America. Only two more days to go until the weekend. Won’t that be fun?
Erik Hagen is a writer for KK BOLD and excited to be back at work today. Just like you are.