Post Holiday Dysfunction Disorder

Ever heard of PHDD? I am sure you never have. It is nothing but Post Holiday Dysfunction Disorder! In this country (which would mean the United States), there is so much emphasis on the holidays (a.k.a Christmas and New Year), that once it has passed, the resulting void in ones life, that of having nothing to wait for during a bleak and cold winter is quite unbearable. Especially when, you have just been spoilt by almost 10 days of vacation/working from home, a 2 day weekend suddenly feels unacceptable, unqualifiable as a weekend, in fact my last weekend was spent sulking in denial that it was not weekend enough for me to enjoy.

At work, everything almost comes to a stop during the holidays, but people know that work will come poring in after New year to make up for the last 2 weeks of near-zero activity, and that usually helps people bounce back from the holiday mood. In my case however, things have been dull over the past 2 weeks – my client fell sick and hasn’t come to work. So I am spending useful billable time, wallowing in sorrow over the slow pace of my work life.

So, what is the big deal about these holidays? In India, I’ve never really missed the absence of a 10 day vacation. Perhaps, it is because the Hindu calendar has it’s holidays much better distributed. Every now and then, there will be a festival to celebrate. In schools, there will also be festivals that you don’t necessarily celebrate like a few Ids, Mahavir Jayanthi, etc.. In addition to that, growing up in a highly volatile place like Hyderabad, we were often subject to more unexpected holidays in the form of PWG bandhs, Naxalite bandhs, Opposition party bandhs, Ruling party bandhs… you get the general idea? So one never really had to look forward to holidays, they would just come and go and were enjoyed where they were deserved or observed where they weren’t. In fact, I’ve never really even waited for a weekend as much as I do here. It’s not like I was not busy there, yet, somehow I don’t think I burnt myself out during the week as much as I seem to do here. I spend 2 hours a day driving back and forth to work. It’s a whole different matter, what my time there is spent doing, but it’s enough if everyone knows that I don’t lift sacks of grain and carry it on my back all day long. Yet, it seems like 9 hours of sleep is insufficient and 24 hours in a day is way to less to get things done at home and work. So quite obviously, 2 days a week for a weekend is just not enough to unwind, then relax and then gear up for the next week.

Darn.. I just can’t put my finger on the problem here.. Umph!

9 thoughts on “Post Holiday Dysfunction Disorder

  1. 10 days in NY/NJ, new year at the times square and finding my car in a mountain of snow at the airport in detroit!

    getting back to work has never been so much fun……
    (pun intended)

  2. padmajav

    You’re so right! I guess that’s because, work requires a lot of concentration and professionalism out there. Not running for chai-breaks or smoke-breaks every hour like here!
    And we crib if Diwali falls on a sunday!!!

  3. Me

    you missed the cyclone & thalaivan/thalaivi deaths…

    Rekha: Oh yes! absolutely.. Not so much the cyclone where I lived though!

  4. I realise that’s why people “run away” on breaks.if we sit at home ,we sulk or take on household chores that have mounted during work days; else we mooch around at home feeling wasted and unnecessarily worry of work days ahead.
    The only answer to get away from all these blues is to go out on vacation.

  5. idaroga

    One way I have dealt with stress is by getting myself a hobby…so, I spent quite a bit of time working on my indian cooking (north and south)…so, holidays or not…that is something I can indulge in, and spend hours keeping myself amused….beats watching CNN or ESPN.

  6. 10yearslate

    After being forced to take four weeks of leave at X’mas/ NY at short notice (company wanted to reduce excess leave accruals), I was at a loose end, as I had planned nothing.

    Once I was unwound and took the days as they came, it was like a revisiting of school hols in India-long days of nothing.

    Once I went back to work though and the paucity of spare time began hitting again, I lamented all that “lost” time which I could have better used.

    There’s no satisfaction at all, is there?

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