Welcome to the Occupation

So it’s come to this.

After 31 glorious days away from the office, it’s back to work tomorrow. Back to my alleged ‘real life’. It took about the first seven to ten days of my trip to truly deprogram and get into ‘vacation’ mode. No telling how long it’s going to take to get back into ‘office professional’ mode, but tomorrow will likely be a baptism by fire.

I really do feel like a different person than I was a month ago, with a new set of tools in my toolbox. I feel like I can deal with interpersonal conflict and manage my own insecurities better than ever before. Hopefully, the old frustrations don’t wiggle their way out of the woodwork immediately. It would be nice to have a grace period before I need to once again bring order to chaos, or make important (and unpopular) decisions, or deal with tedious and mundane tasks. We shall see how it goes.

I somehow managed to pick up yet another chest cold, my third in the past six weeks. This one is probably from Friday afternoon hockey. I won’t go into all the gory details of what transpires on the players’ benches but… conditions are far from hygienic. Let’s leave it at that. This cold isn’t going to help lift my spirits tomorrow.

I’m finding the time shift west-to-east more difficult to manage than east-to-west. When I got to New Zealand, it took awhile before I stopped waking up at 3:00 am or 4:00 am. But after about a week, I was able to establish a pretty reasonable schedule of waking up at 6:00 am and going to bed around 11:00 pm. Now that I’m home, I’m having trouble getting up before 9:00 am and I don’t get sleepy until 1:00 am or later. Plus, every time that I sit on the sofa and close my eyes for more than ten seconds I slip into R.E.M. sleep. My 6:15 am alarm tomorrow morning is going to be rather unpleasant. I just hope that I’m not a complete zombie at work.

But if you do catch me rocking a thousand-yard stare at some point tomorrow – well, at least it’s only ten more working days until my Christmas break. For now, that’s the light at the end of the tunnel.

In the coming days, I think I will start a day-by-day rundown of my trip on this blog. I kept a journal as I travelled, so maybe that will give some insight into how things unfolded. If you were on the trip with me, don’t worry – I won’t use anyone’s last names, and I’ll check with people before posting their photographs. Information will be screened to protect the innocent (and the not-so-innocent). You know who you are…

As much as I’d like to sit here all night in the multi-coloured glow of my new Christmas tree, watching the snow lightly flutter past the streetlights outside, I should try to get some sleep tonight. Yesterday morning, my first thought as I woke up was “I wonder which hike we’re doing today?”. If only every day could be spent hiking with my friends.



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