Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Vacation 101: Forced Transition

As soon as I reached my office at approximately 12:48 pm, with a large box of Postrio chocolate cake I brought from my favorite dessert haven in Cebu, I dived into my desk, quickly logged in and knew that I had it coming. Literally hundreds of emails flowed into my Outlook like sand. I secretly hoped my Outlook won't hang up, although I would understand if it did. While my emails were loading I was reading some documents and cleaning the remnants of dust in my desk which I left for almost a week untouched. I knew I couldn't afford to chit chat. There are couple of reports due for the week and reading my emails would easily take me hours.

2 hours straight, to be exact, I labored and knew that I was in the work zone. A lot of my colleagues noticed that I was back and they went to my cube and tried to ask how my trip turned out. But I was multi-tasking. I was trying hard to be coherently talking to them while my face is glued on my monitor. Some automatically got the picture and left me alone while others turned my misfortune into a comedic punchline. Some joked around that I had it coming because I was on a vacation roll and they weren't. I totally agree. No offense taken.

After two hours of intensely figuring out which emails to delete and which emails to store I was proud of myself f0r setting my Inbox back to zero. One task down and a couple more to go. But before working on reports I quickly grabbed a late lunch of spaghetti and croissant at our cafeteria and ate at my workstation. With no time wasted, I labored on.

In between a mini-birthday celebration for Jim, it was not until 7:30 pm that I could say I was totally carefree. It was at that time that I was able to roam around workstations and chatted with colleagues. I quickly briefed them about my vacation, but just like talking about a dead person, I left the details out because it just hurt. I'm still suffering from separation anxiety and I'm wondering if taking vacations is really good for me because after vacations, I tend to feel worse. Even with the widened belly and burnt skin I've recently developed, I still miss eating like there's no tomorrow and not feeling the guilt of it. I miss swimming in the pool and to roam around places that do not remind me of Manila. Now I would wonder at the end if vacation is still considered beneficial for me.

A colleague of mine, who just came in from a Boracay vacation, shared how miserable he felt when he got back for work. He initially couldn't pull himself together and somehow dragged his ass to his workstation. It took him almost a week to repress his desire to go back and prolong his escape. Boy, how I closely I related with him. Vacations are supposed to recharge us from work and the dreaded reality. It's the time to indulge in activities and events we missed out due to our toxic daily lives. But after the quick escape of mental and physical relaxation, for some reason I feel worse. The effect of it I have noticed ever since I was a kid and I thought I was the only one seriously considering it adverse. It takes me days or weeks to get back on track. Apparently now I know I'm not alone.

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