Post-Holiday Syndrome

I’ve been spoiled over the past number of years. I arise, feed the dogs, make breakfast, chat with K before she leaves for work, and then I relax with my second cup of coffee before I start my day. I usually put in a full day, but I love the gentle starts, the morning commute and rat race long since forgotten, and then we move to this small island.
Living here is a boon and a blessing, except when I have to go to the city.  Every once in a while a trip is necessary. The ferry schedule is geared for the folks who work in the city, so if you want to get there early, you have to get your sorry butt out of the bed and compete for a spot on the earlier boats. Yesterday was just such a day. Man, am I ever out of shape for the early morning commutes.
K was having way too much fun at my expense as she hustled me out the door. “Have a good day at school,” she called as I ran for the car.
“Woman, it is cruel to tease the elderly.” That just brought more laughter.
I hurried down to the docks and settled in to play the “hurry up and wait” game, but was there in time to guarantee a spot on the boat. The ferry ride was uneventful, but I did notice something. The post-holiday effect was beginning to show.
The pre-holiday syndrome is stress. You see it everywhere just before the holidays, large crowds of stressed out, unhappy people. Everyone trying to live up to the unreasonable expectations foisted upon them by the advertising media.
Post-holiday is just the opposite, smaller groups of people, more personal space, and a sense of relief in the air. Folks have come through the hustle and bustle of yet another holiday and survived. Their lives are slipping back into familiar patterns, body postures are more relaxed, and smiles come easily to their faces. Everywhere I went it was the same, smiling people, lighter traffic, lots of parking spaces, and best of all, the line-up at the coffee shop was shorter.
Please don’t misunderstand, I love my family and friends, and I love spending time with them, but trying to jam all those visits into such a short span of time did wear on me a bit. So, now that the whirlwind is over, here am I with my happy face on.
So, now that all the hustle and bustle is over for another year, are you sad, relieved, or both?

9 thoughts on “Post-Holiday Syndrome

  1. I'm feeling a little unmoored still, in the wake of the holidays, but it's getting better. Mostly I'd agree that the world seems relieved, but I'm also seeing a bit of depression in faces. When I notice that, I wonder if they are thinking 'the new year came and nothing changed'.

  2. Hi Prudence! I've found just the opposite to be true. I commute about an hour one-way every day and I travel to the capital city of my state where there also happens to be a major university. From Thanksgiving on the traffic gets less and less because everyone takes time off school and official government business slows down. After the 1st of the year, everyone is ordered back to their desks and the traffic is horrendous! When the new semester at the university starts in a couple of weeks, it'll get even more congested.

    But with regard to the actual holidays, I'm sad to see them go, but relieved at the same time. Seems like things get "back to normal." It's a time of renewal and cleaning house for me. Starting fresh.

    Thanks for sharing your happy face picture and the puppy dog is just adorable!

    Have a very happy new year!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  3. It does feel less stressful now that the holidays are over. But, the new year brings on all the resolutioners and the gym has been packed! That is what I forget that I don't like about the new year. By March they'll be gone and I'll forget again, until next January.

  4. I love the holidays, but they always feel rushed to me, and I often come out of them feeling like I've fallen behind. So now that the New Year is here, I'm looking forward to catching up. And yes, definitely to the shorter lines at the coffee shop 🙂

  5. I agree, Prudence, people seem relaxed again. Our society has made Christmas all about the gifts and having everything perfect…and it does seem like we try to fit all our visits into a short span of time, rather than just treating everyone good all year.
    In Arizona the traffic remains crazy until spring, though, when all the snowbirds go home again. And lines are still long. It gets much quieter in summer…when no one in their right mind visits. LOL!
    I've lived on an island, where we had to take a ferry to get anywhere else. Loved reading today's post and remembering what that's like.

  6. Your life on the island sounds so lovely. I’m not very good at early mornings either, although I must do them just about every day. I am thankful for holidays because that means “no school” and I can sleep just a little longer. I had a wonderful holiday, but I am relieved it is over. Still, I am waiting for volunteers to come and pack up all my Christmas decorations. Just haven’t felt like dealing with that since we got home this week. 🙁 Enjoy the shorter lines at the coffee stops. They are a blessing.

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