Back to work, back to reality

Monday, January 04, 2010

Last night, despite being exhausted and going to bed around 9:30, I got a whopping two or three hours' sleep. I was hot and sweaty and my heart was pounding so loudly I could hear it.

I'm sorry to report these symptoms aren't due to an extended bout of sexy time. This is my body's way of handling the stress the night before going back to work after Christmas vacation. Earlier in the day, I nearly spontaneously burst into tears more than once and snapped at hubby several times for no reason.

I'm not a doctor, but I am willing to go out on a limb here and say that doesn't sound very healthy.

Laying there thinking about work (as I clearly had hours and hours to do last night) I can't pinpoint what it is that agitates me so much. I have great clients, I like my coworkers and the people I report to...there are none of those horrible wonky relationships where you get sick just thinking about having to deal with that person. I like my desk. I have a new outfit to wear and fun new supplies--a brand spankin' new page-a-day shoe calendar and a fresh 2010 day planner just itching for new to-do lists to fill up the pages.

In the latter part of the year, the economy finally caught up with Atlantic Canada and we were hit quite hard in our industry, among others. I think part of my freakout stems from the fact that everything is so lean these days, and in the back of my mind there's a belief that if something were to go wrong at work, I have no options because no one else is hiring.

I'm also frightened of making a mistake at work, envisioning all these horrible scenarios where what starts off as a little error snowballs, clients get pissed off, work decreases for the agency, and once again I'm out the door.

Plus there's just the sheer laziness of Christmas break that's so hard to break out of. Since going to the Dominican in spring of '08 this was my first chance to take some time and relax.

Christmas break was wonderful--tons of baking, board games, reading, food, movies and downtime. There were snow days. There were successive days of no-pants wearing (even the stretchy skinny jeans I'm wearing to work feel like a ball and chain after blissfully soft leggings for days). Getting back into a routine is hard and this girl is not excited.

I wish I had tricks for handling these freakouts better and easing back into a routine, but I have no secrets to share. Instead, I will go into the office, settle in with a tea and my new calendars, and start by making the mother of to-do lists. I will have update calls with my clients bright and early in the day to make sure none of their needs are missed. In the afternoon I plan on plugging into and plowing through as much work as I possibly can. And tonight, I will repeat the going-to-bed-early schtick and pray that this time I'll actually nod off.

Am I the only one who requires hard drugs to return to work after a fantastic holiday?
What are your tips for staying sane?

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  1. I could copy and paste this onto my blog give or take a few nights. I'm pretty sure I haven't been able to fall asleep before 2am since Friday and have woken up sweating from nightmares every time.

    2010? We're not friends yet.

  2. I agree. I was blaming our duvet for my nightly sweatfest (YUM) but interestingly enough, the temperature seemed fine between December 24-January 2. Hmmm. Does not want!

  3. I definitely felt the same way at my last job. I hated it so much and it was so toxic that I couldn't even enjoy my time off because I spent it all freaking out about going back.

    Now it's not so bad. There was still that little dread feeling on Sunday about going back... but it wasn't overwhelming. Now that I'm here it's not so bad but I'm not looking forward to so much boring routine again.

    I don't really have any advice for you other than to keep trying to figure out what makes you freak out, and nip it in the bud.

    Speaking of Bud, you should have one to calm your nerves! ;)

  4. I'm attempting to take solace in the fact that today was every bit as awful as I'd imagined it could be (worse, even). So at least my panic wasn't for nothing.

  5. @Ginger I think it was just that the holiday was sooooo extra nice and awesome, it makes it that much harder to go back. And yes, I have some Bud Light Limes at home I might partake in after work :)

    @Joel See? It's a good thing you panicked so much. If you had been going into it expecting a good day, you'd be so disappointed right now. Low expectations=the way to go.

  6. I had the same reaction. Going back to work is hell...even though I like my job just fine.

    Maybe it's normal?

  7. I also suffered from nightly sweatfests and nightmares the 2 nights leading up to going back to work. Unfortunately I don't love my job (like, but not love) so I think that's my issue. But you're not alone!

  8. I am the ultimate baby. I went home sick at noon yesterday because I just couldn't deal.

    I mean, I was also pretty freaking hungover from the 10 day vaca. But that's neither here nor there... ;-)

  9. I cried myself to sleep last night at the thought of going back to work.

  10. Amber--it could be normal for everybody! i'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way!

    Rachel--Since I've been back, work has been fine. It was the anticipation/dread more than work itself :)

    LiLu--I debated ditching the first day back for a few solid minutes.

    Amy--oh no!! Poor thing!

  11. I too felt this way before having to go back to work on Monday after 2 weeks off!!

  12. Mireya...It's hard to get back into the swing of things. Hope your week's going OK.