Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Post-Holiday Depression Survival Guide (alternatively titled, "Top Ten Things I Like About Almost-Empty DC")

Back in the office? You're not alone. I am, too. And as anyone in the office the week after Christmas knows, online entertainment is CRITICAL to surviving the looooooooong stretches of mostly meeting-free days. (Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining, at least not vehemently - just observing that empty days are often slow days).

This time of year presents the young working adult with a bit of a Catch-22. Go home for the long stretch and pray that everyone in your family makes it out on speaking terms? Or conserve your leave for a Carribean adventure during the interminably gray month of February but pay for your choice with a heaping dose of holiday guilt? In either case, I find that the week after Christmas leaves me fairly reflective, and don't even get me started on what the changing of the year does to me - suffice it to say it's no coincidence that the month of January finds me furiously journaling.

But you didn't come here for reflection. You came to be entertained. Without further ado, my top ten favorite things about being back in the groove and "working" the week after Christmas:

  1. Less guilt when I miss the bus in the morning and an opportunity to finish my morning coffee without impromptu meetings.

  2. Fewer people on the metro. More space, more quiet. Can you put a value on not starting in a state of high anxiety? There are days where taking the metro feels like a running of the bulls, but this week has been blissfully free of commute stress. (Forgive me, I just finished "The Paris Wife," so I have Hemingway on the brain).

  3. More space at the gym/pool/running trail/etc. Last night, I had a lane to myself for the entirety of my time at the DC public pool. I enjoyed the hell out of it. And will continue to do so until every fitness facility in the city is overrun by New Year's resolution-ers next week.

  4. Slower pace. Everyone is still in a sugar coma from Christmas cookies, which makes them less eager to shove ahead of you in line.

  5. Happier moods. Even accounting for holiday stress, I think people tend to slant more chipper this time of year. I even enjoy the generic "Happy holidays!" I find out on Out of Office emails.

  6. After Christmas sales. No, it's no Black Friday - which I hate because of the crowds, see #2 - but you can still find some sweet bargains to help round out your piles of presents.

  7. Excuses to catch up with old friends. Even if this translates to just posting on their Facebook walls.

  8. Freedom to eat junk at any time of the day. Let's face it, those leftovers are not going to eat themselves.

  9. An opportunity to blare music - the cheesier the better - from your desk speakers. SANS HEADPHONES.

  10. Time to write this blog post

In reviewing the list above, it's amazing how many of them boil down to fewer people around. What was my Myers-Briggs again? Maybe that will be tomorrow's project...

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