Post Holiday Blues: Mourning what could have been
“Use it or lose it”, the company I work for said about vacation time. And they were serious. Seems I didn’t pay attention to my accrued time over the last couple of years, so, whoosh — 80 hours gone.
That was back in September and involved 2020/21’s accumulation from multiple acquisitions. “Well, shit. I’d rather be working than sitting around waiting for the cat to die, but, OK. I’ll take what time is left.”
So, I sat home all last week, yeah, waiting for the cat to die. It’s a 19 year-old PITA that screams all night for food or because it’s cold or it’s constipated or fuck, who knows? “I’m lonely, is anybody there?” I have a cache of rolled socks I throw at it. I wanted to get a high powered squirt gun but the spouse frowned mightily at that.
I wasn’t idle. I tried to piece together various ideas. But, I wasn’t productive either. It seems my inner critic has ensconced himself just over my shoulder. After a few words, his toxic breath freezes my fingers. Stutter-writing is no fun. At this rate I’ll never get anything completed.
Right this instant, I sit here, Youtube loop videos playing, reworking one paragraph over and over. Turns out, there are post-holiday music compilations that help wean us of our shroud of holiday tunes. Coffee house jazz: guitar, piano, cello, each with accompanying fake snow falling over a “Where’s Waldo” or “I Spy” scene. It helps. Even I used to enjoy the holidays: the anticipation, the potential of I-don’t-know-what building, and the memories of better times spilling over.
Then after. Decorations that mock us, the occasional exposed gift that didn’t get put away, mainly because you don’t quite know what to do with it. And the emotional hangover that lingers for weeks. It’s like mourning a dead, distant friend. Or the end of school-age summer, squandered or filled with adventure; back to school we go—whether we like it or not.
My writer’s mind in chaos mode: (Dall-E)