Vacation let-down. Back-to-the-grind blahs. Post-traumatic stress disorder. Whatever you call it, I haven’t missed it. It used to hit me hard. Every time I left home, every time company abandoned me, I would struggle with the realities of after-shock. At least a day, sometimes several, would be lost to my inability to cope gracefully with my mundane life. The ho-hum of it all was almost too much to bear.
I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for almost nine years and I can honestly tell you that in that handful of days, the let-down has been a nearly non-existent phenomenon. Reasons: unknown. Gratefulness quotient: high.
I could say that I live in a place I love, with people I love, doing what I love, at the height of life, and that all these things make the post-adventure times all kittens and butterflies. But that isn’t anything new. I’ve led a very blessed life.
My husband would be delighted to claim the credit. But alas, near-perfect as he is, completing me and fulfilling life and all that, his would also be a false claim.
The completely irrational depression, or lack thereof – I am fairly certain – has little to no relation to the goodness of the good life. It’s all relative, and it’s all a matter of perspective. When the excitement dies down, the same ol’, same ol’ just can’t compare. I don’t know why I’ve had nearly a decade of freedom from this mysterious villain, but it appears that the reprieve was temporary.
For our return from the wilds of the Boundary Waters this weekend brought with it that old foe, that bane of reintegration, the dreaded vacation let-down. (It’s in italics because WordPress doesn’t allow me emphasize with a blood-dripping slasher font.)
It was a hard couple of days. You know the kind – where everything looks to be out to get you, your irritation the very purpose of being for everything around you. The dishwasher has decided that you are not worthy of clean dishes. Your books are suddenly written for someone else with entirely different tastes from you. Your computer mocks you, shunning your fingers from the keyboard. The kids are screaming. The washing machine is about to take off in an acrobatic miracle with your entire load of clothes hostage in the flight. The phone won’t stop ringing. The refrigerator is empty. You stub your toe. The police show up. You know the days.
I call these the days of the sh**-colored glasses. It wouldn’t matter if Publisher’s Clearing House were the unexpected visitor in place of the police. You’d be too smeared with excrement to see them as welcome caller.
I love the days of the rose-colored glasses. They are nice. Unfortunately they often go unnoticed. The other days, the days where your entire life is viewed through a thin film of dung, rarely do. Noticing is all you can do.
Thing is, they are the same days.
I have found intense solace over the years, in and through many such days of sh**-colored glasses, to know that they are only days, and only days where I reached for the wrong pair of cheaters in the wee bleary-morning hours. It is my vision of reality, and not reality itself, that is impaired.
If I can have enough presence of mind to remember that, it is a strong force that helps me cope until I can manage to wrench those sons-o-spectacles off. They will come off, and the sooner I start prying, the quicker I can find the right pair on my nightstand.
Monday morning I was greeted, already in a fit of misery, with a post from my friend Cast Light gracing my inbox, written just for me. Really. Just for me. To upend my day and give my eyepieces a swift kick in the face. Sent me right to my knees to lay it all at the foot of the cross, where it belongs, and get on with my life. Her post is here. In case your day needs an upending as well.
I won’t say the rest of the day was smooth runnings, punctuated though it was with the speed-bumps of reintegration into my routine, but it was also pocked with the signage of Grace. And occasionally, thanks to Cast Light, I was able to see it and hang onto it like a ring-buoy.
This morning, the rosy frames were still missing, but I did manage to avoid the accidental donning of the poop-goggles.
It was a good day. And I saw it.