Post Return To Work Stress Disorder

I've been back at work for three hours.  I think that's enough, really, don't you? It's such a rude re-introduction to the real world.  Hulking black PCs, lists and lists of menial tasks.  I can't see the surface of my desk for the piles of shit on it.  Mostly it feels like an interruption of happy routine.  I like being able to read at midday, work on my book after lunch, write a blog post whenever I feel like it (so I'm writing this now just to spite the working world).

The funny thing about a really good holiday is the depression that sets in after.  This morning I threatened to avoid it altogether by nearly sleeping through all my alarms.  Now I'm staring with some chagrin at the huge map of Oxford across from my desk, thinking I probably should have slept through all my alarms, and thinking also that I'm nostalgic for something which is barely over.  The freedom.  The blue skies.  The delicious meals.  The cider.

On a more positive note, I've returned from holiday feeling spiritually refreshed (please contain your derisive snorts), and oddly empowered.  I have this niggling sense that I am, after all, in control of my future, and if I don't want that future to necessarily include being paid to stare at a wall and occasionally file things, I may actually be able to do something about it.  It's a good start, anyway, and until we can all move to a commune off the East Devon coast and sustain ourselves on creative endeavors and home-grown vegetables, it gives me incentive to keep going.

The other nice thing about coming back from a vacation is the lingering effect of "tourist eyes".  When you go away--even if it's just a few hours south of your usual haunt--your vision (both literally and metaphorically) is temporarily altered, and there's a precious period of a few days after your return when you haven't quite readjusted and you're still seeing things in a holiday-way.  So I'm enjoying wandering through Oxford.  I'd forgotten quite how much I take it for granted.  Xander and I even dipped into the Natural History Museum on Saturday--just because we could--and spent a blissful half hour feeling like 19th century explorers.  (There is something, we find, irrevocably Victorian about a Natural History Museum).  We just don't get that in our natural state of being.  It takes a trip--a big one, a small one, a physical one, an emotional or mental one--to make us remember our surroundings.