Post-Vacation Depression

Is that a thing? I think it’s a thing. Maybe coming home a day earlier to have time to unwind and do laundry isn’t so great after all. Maybe it’s better to get back and hit the ground running so you don’t have time to wonder if it was all a dream or if it really happened. Vacation passes by so fast, and then it’s just over. Back to the same old routine day after day. So I need to talk it out a bit.

I’m from St. Louis, Missouri. Yeah, I lived in various other places (Kansas, Ohio, and Florida) but St. Louis is the place I remember the most. I’ve lived in a south suburban neighborhood of Denver, Colorado, for the past 13.5 years. I have a lot of family and a couple friends in St. Louis still. The trouble with visiting St. Louis is that there are so many people to see, but there is absolutely no way to see everyone due to work schedules and logistics. Thanks to the “great white flight“, a lot of people have moved to new suburbs farther away from the city. Whatever drove them to shinier pastures makes it harder to see them the few times per decade we are able to make the trip.

Of course, my nature is to feel guilty if I’m unable to spend equal time with everyone. On the other hand, it’s unhealthy to shoulder that responsibility because without a doubt, there will be someone feeling hurt that we didn’t spend much (if any) time with them. It’s almost as bad as taking a vacation somewhere else instead of using vacation time to always go “home” and feeling guilty about that. I don’t expect them all to use all their vacation time to come to Colorado every time, though. Guilt over that one resolved! :D

Yes, I miss friends and fam in The Lou, but they all know where we live, too. ;) There’s some nostalgia about visiting St. Louis, but I also like to show off Colorado.

It’s hard knowing how much we’re missed – to the point where they wish so much that we could move back there. That would mean losing our jobs and starting all over, though. It would also mean uprooting kids and pulling them from friendships they’ve formed. No, this is where we live now and will live for quite a while longer. St. Louis may be where I spent my formative years and started my own family, but Colorado is our home now. Family wishing so hard that we could move back there is equal to our wishing so hard that they could move out here by us.

It also doesn’t help that I’m not a great planner and really suck at proactive communication. I’m a friendly person and can carry on a short, polite conversation with just about anyone, but I’m not good at long conversations. I run out of things that seem important enough to talk about. I don’t care for gossip, and I like to keep certain things private. So long talks exhaust me and really showcase my social awkwardness. That sometimes makes me seem like I don’t care or am unappreciative, which couldn’t be further from the truth!

So why the post-vacation depression? Because of all of the above. I didn’t see everyone I wanted to see. I didn’t spend enough time with all of the people I did see. I can’t help but think about other uses for the money we spent on the trip. Finally, I feel like I didn’t express enough how happy I was to spend whatever amount of time I did with each person. I’m an imperfect and flawed human being.

The dread of returning to work and catching up on emails, meeting notes, and any changes that may have taken place doesn’t help things, either!

Here’s the plan: Plop my arse down on the couch and watch some shows I missed last week and then meet tomorrow head first to plow right back into the normal routine.

Back-to-School Facebook Repost Request

I’m not one to repost things or to ask people to repost things, but I saw this on Facebook today and thought I’d share it in a different way:

Special request to all you kids returning to school in the next few days: If you see someone who is struggling to make friends or being bullied because he/ she doesn’t have many friends or because they are shy or not as pretty or not dressed in the most “in” clothes –PLEASE step up. Say hi or at least smile at them in the hallway. You never know what that person might be facing outside of school. Your kindness might just make a BIG difference in someone’s life! PLEASE REPOST THIS.

I certainly agree with this thought and am so glad that I have kids that would never treat others this way and that don’t pick their friends based on what clothes they wear or however else they look on the outside. That doesn’t mean they’re never on the other end of this scenario. When they are, it really hurts. Especially when it’s received for no apparent reason and completely unexpected.

Once upon a time, there were two girls who were great friends (at least it appeared that way to me). They were able to share a lot with each other. One of them received some pretty heavy news and decided to keep it to herself, possibly fearing judgment. The news involved the need for surgery that would have life-long implications. She finally revealed all of this to her dear friend, and that friend was there with her the day of surgery. She was amazing at offering support and keeping spirits up!

Cut to several months later (probably along with the normal life changes that teenagers go through) and there came along what resembled a break-up. A new best friend came along. I get it – I really do. Interests change and when that’s not mutual, we find someone else with common interests to spend time with. When that happens, people usually don’t sever ties completely creating awkward silences when group situations bring them together in the same place. It’s kind of sad, and it does fit with the quoted repost request above. Step up (and I know that one half of the former duo has tried) and say “Hi!” A little casual conversation won’t kill, either.

That’s really all I have to say about this – and for the longest time, I chose not to say anything at all. However, this is my blog and my thoughts so there it is … out there.

Year 45, Day 3 | Day One of Vacation

Mourning the death of my mixer.Thursday was the 44th anniversary of the day of my birth (fancy way to say it was my birthday). Day 1 of my 45th year of life. Like the day of my birth, the day was a bit stressful. I was 8 lb 5 oz, and my mom was a petite thing at barely 5’1″. My fat head was stuck in her pelvis, and apparently the only way to save one or both of us was to do an emergency Cesarean. As I struggled to make my way into the world 44 years ago, I struggled to make my way through the day on my birthday. I can imagine the next 36 hours after my birth, I was pretty exhausted – as most babies are. Well the next 36 hours after my 44th birthday, I felt much the same and kept longing for the work day to be over.

I ended day two of my 45th year with my husband at a little corner bar called G-Ducks, where our friends’ band ONE15 was playing. I had shared the Facebook invite several times and even mentioned my birthday. I don’t normally throw guilt trips around, but I have to say to the multitude of local “friends” on Facebook, “Where were you?” I know it’s the first day of spring break in our area so I tried giving the benefit of the doubt that maybe people had family plans. By coincidence, the friends who were there were friends and family of the band members already.

It’s all good, though! I had a good time. Well, with the exception of some chick who thought her shot at the pool table trumped my photo op that I was already poised and focused, ready to capture. She expected me to get out of her way and was clearly irritated when I didn’t immediately move but said “Hang on” nicely as I took my shot. I saw her much later at a table glancing over her shoulder at me and miming taking a photo with a cell phone as she was clearly relaying the story to her guy friend. We made eye contact, and I smiled with a slight smirk and tiny shake of my head as if to say, “Get over it already!” Sad to know that these are the things people choose to hold on to. <sigh>

Moving on to day three of my 45th year of life. I woke up with a splitting headache, which I believe is purely coincidental and not just a hangover since I only had three draft beers last night. So I guzzled some water, made coffee, and started to make buttercream frosting for the cupcakes I made yesterday. As I was waiting for the water and Meringue powder to come together and form stiff peaks in my KitchenAid mixer, something popped and clattered inside and the damn thing just died. It’s only MAYBE two years old and is very gently used. Why??? So my cupcakes sit naked in the kitchen while I sit with head pounding in front of this computer avoiding anything resembling work of any kind as this is, after all, day one of my vacation.

Ritual Cobb Salad Lunch | Julie & Julia

“Cobb Salad, no blue cheese.”
“Cobb Salad, no beets.”
“Cobb Salad, no bacon.”
“Cobb Salad, no eggs”

Are you familiar with the movie Julie & Julia? This scene stands out to me. It could be because it’s a little uncomfortable.

Here we have Julie, once editor of Amherst Literary Magazine; the one everyone knew would be “The One”; temped for eight years; gave up on a novel; now working in a cubical in a government office. Meanwhile, her friends have pushed ahead in careers. There’s a newly promoted Senior Vice President in charge of publicity (no blue cheese), a corporate real estate mogul (no beets), and a writer for a magazine (no bacon). The writer paints Julie (no eggs) in a negative light in her magazine’s feature article, suggesting she had failed at life.

Of course, we all know that Julie ended up with her own accomplishment, and I consider her accomplishment to be a pretty awesome thing. But what defines success? What do you consider success?

I believe that if you love what you do, and you do it well and with great confidence, then you are successful.