H = Hectic

HI had this great idea about the A to Z Challenge.  I was going stay on track. I was going to find 26 great, outstanding, fascinating things to talk about and share with you.

Then I hit the letter “H”.

At first, I was going to write about my experiences in Hong Kong.  But I can’t find the photos from my week and a half there, staying with my dear friend who taught at the Kowloon YMCA.

Then I thought I would write about my 96 hours in Hungary (Budapest to be precise), and then realized that due to the morning train from Zagreb, Croatia and the beer cart rolling around at 8:30 am (It’s 11am somewhere, right?), that I don’t remember enough about my time there to accurately share my experience!

Then I went out of town for the weekend. I didn’t have access to any of my photos and I couldn’t think of another “H” thing to write about. Then, I realized that I was only two weeks away from the end of my current semester at Johns Hopkins University.  I’m taking two courses AND working full-time and I started to panic.  And since I didn’t have any photos to give you anyway, I hid from the A to Z Challenge.

A lot of people live hectic lives. Many are able to balance them successfully.  Others have difficulty. I am one who has difficulty but appears to have it all together. The truth is, I don’t. But I make it work. Sometimes to make it work, I do what I did this weekend. I just get away from it all. I dump it all from my mind and I do something completely different and unrelated. Then I return to reality.  And realize that I just put myself another three days behind schedule on EVERYTHING else in my life that I had to get done. But hey, it was a fun weekend.  And I’m happy. And that starts with H, too.

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Another thing I did when I was supposed to be doing homework. Origami. It didn’t work. So I doodles butterflies on it instead with highlighters meant for highlighting passages in smart people books.

The back-to-work blues….

Yesterday, I had that feeling. You know the feeling where you come back to work after a lengthy vacation and you can barely make it through the day?

For the first time in a year, I was able to manage more than a week away from work! In fact, I actually got THREE weeks off! We went on our first real vacation away to Las Vegas for the first week, hosted Christmas at our house for the second, and watched Netflix and cleared out our basement during the third. Fun times!

Loki's first Christmas tree!  And it stayed upright!

Loki’s first Christmas tree! And it stayed upright!

So yesterday, my alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. It was dark and cold out. I didn’t want to get up, but I did. Showered, dressed, packed my lunch and headed out into the darkness. It was great to be back and see my cool coworkers and even more reassuring to hear them talk about wanting more holidays.


It’s too dark out!


I had my day all planned out.  I brought my own lunch and healthy snacks (New Years, you know), I had a lot of catching up to do and some products to create.  Well, I was hungry by 11:00 a.m., and by 12:30 p.m. I was feeling that weight and burn on my eyes that tells me I wanted a nap!  I went to the gym at 3:00 p.m. and felt better, but by 7:30 p.m. I was so done, that I actually forced myself to walk around and do nothing just so I wouldn’t fall asleep too early.  It was as if I was jet-lagged!

Folks all over the Internet have all these well-meaning suggestions in order to ‘bounce back after a vacation’.  It happens to all of us!  We get out of work mode and after feeling the ‘freedom’, it’s so hard to go back!

Here are my tips:

1. Go off the work ‘grid’ only partially. I kept my work ‘wireless handheld device’ with me and would check it every couple of days, deleting any emails that would expire or I did not need to keep.  I wasn’t glued to my phone, was able to enjoy my vacation, and had very few emails to sort through upon my return.

2. Create a schedule and stick to it.  During your first week back, make sure you have scheduled important and relevant things to do throughout each day.  If you don’t, it could be easy to stray, daydream, and become unproductive.  This will tire you more than actually doing things. Trust me!

3. Eat healthy and drink lots of water. When you return to work from a vacation, this is the prime time for your body to shut ‘er down.  You’re more prone to colds or other weird viruses your coworkers have brought with them!  Keep eating (fruits, veggies, protein) and drinking well to keep your immune system up.

4. Look and plan forward. Take the time off work to recharge, re-appreciate the little things in life, and use that experience to remind yourself of what you want to change/fix/adjust.

For me, today was a lot better than yesterday.  I kept my schedule up, went to the gym again, ate healthy, and felt as though I was going to work with a clearer mind.  I also realized and hopefully will remember that going a year without a few weeks time off is not a very good idea!

How many others felt that same challenge going back to work after the holidays?  What are your sure-fire ways of defeating the back-to-work blahs?