When I was a meeting planner (many moons ago), I was affected by a phenomenon I call “post meeting blues.” After much anticipation leading up to the meeting and the chaos of the on-site experience (which invariably involved excitement like presenters not showing up, catering snafus, and 28-hour work days), there was a “let down” feeling after the meeting was over. First came the relief, then the inexplicable down-in-the-dumps-depression.
Now that I’m a college professor, I find the end of the semester follows a similar pattern. As I type this, I have one grade yet to come in (c’mon, kid, turn it in, turn it in, turn it in). Once it’s in, I will feel jubilation as I submit final grades to the great and powerful Oz. I will dance and sing (where no one can see or hear me) and feel the knots in every one of my muscles relax. Then I will walk that fine line between relaxation and boredom.
Then it happens — boom! — post-semester depression. I start feeling aimless (even though my “aim” should be prepping for the next semester). I even start missing my students. They’re all at home and not missing school at all, of course. But I miss their faces (or more accurately, the tops of their heads, which is all I can see some days as they look down at their phones instead of at me while I facilitate class). I miss their witty repartee, the words from the ones who make valuable contributions to class, and even their “deer in the headlights” facial expressions when they are called on or busted for looking at Facebook instead of their notes.
So this semester, I have a plan. And I’m not ashamed to share it. This year, I’m planning a one day vacation from my brain. The plan is simple. On one day (after the great and powerful Oz has released me from his grasp), I’m going to leave my pajamas on all day, plop my already generously sized derriere on the sofa at home, and watch something mindless on TV…all day. Just for one day. I’m thinking sappy Christmas movies on Lifetime or the Hallmark channels. Other props for the day include the gallon tin of Garrett popcorn (Chicago Mix) that I plan to order for myself, a 2-liter bottle of root beer, and three cats to keep me warm.
So there. That’s my plan for a one-day vacation from my brain. Before my toddler son gets out of daycare for 12 days (heaven help me), before the official Christmas festivities start, before I start panicking over how much I have to do to get ready for next semester. One day that’s mine. All mine.
Carpe brain rest. And Happy Holidays.