morning, the day after
are two "dentist
appointments," a couple of "stuck in traffics" and an intriguingly
nonspecific "feeling icky" waiting for me in my voicemailbox when I get
into the office. Two of my Dirt Company co-workers have decided not to
come in at all today. Another is mysteriously AWOL. Everybody else is
obviously still on Holiday Time: as the morning progresses, I sit at
and watch them
straggle into the office, one by one: none of them looking at all
glad to be here, none of them looking particularly well-rested, a
couple of them acting downright snarly when I remind them to sign in.
("I'm here, aren't I?" barks The Main Nerdy Geoscientist Guy,
looking a little Stachybotrys Chartarum Green around the
office has clearly been
infected with a case of "Three-Day-Weekend-Itis."
sympathetic. I honestly
truly am. If anybody around here understands how hard it is to
disconnect from a long, lovely holiday weekend and plug yourself back
into the boring workday world, it's me. During my
Drunk-and-Dysfunctional Days (read this: the first twenty years of my
professional life), I would routinely call in and plead 'stomach flu'
or 'collapsed ceiling' or 'dead Grandma' on the first morning following
a three-day weekend ... mainly to buy myself an additional eight or
nine hours' worth of Puke-and-Pillow Time.
Even now that I'm sober, I
still face end-of-the-holiday-weekend *recovery issues.* Recovering
from too much sunshine and fresh air, for instance. Recovering from
three days' worth of comfortable shoes, twenty-minute showers and
minimal Maybelline. Recovering from restaurant lunches and Bed Picnic
suppers. Recovering from three days of no phones, no paper cuts, no
smarmy Minolta salesmen calling me "ma'am."
-- as is the case today --
recovering from sixty-six miles on a Butt-D-Luxe.
must confess that it's taken
me ever-so-slightly longer to bounce back from Saturday's marathon
forty-mile bike ride (plus six miles on Friday night, and another
twenty on Sunday morning) than I had expected. I'm not talking about
physical pain. In fact, except for my battered right knee -- and some
residual stiffness in my hands from maintaining a death-grip for five
hours -- I seem to have come away from the ride with very little in the
way of actual injury or whine-worthy discomfort. A couple of naproxen
sodium and twenty minutes in the bathtub with my whirlpool thingamajig
on Sunday night, and I was practically good as new. Mostly I've just
felt sort of tired and quiet and depleted for the
of days ... like a crumpled tube of Crest Complete, squeezed nearly
dry. It's as though I pushed myself to the absolute limit of what my
soft, squooshy forty-four year old body can do, and then I pushed a
just for fun.
is not a bad thing. It's
actually pretty amazing, when you think about it. It's just taking a
little more effort to recover from than I'd anticipated.
not quite as bad as a
hangover, of course. I'm not sprawled across porcelain this morning.
Nothing is broken or bleeding or on fire. There are no empy wine boxes
crammed into my bottom desk drawer ... no new TOS violations waiting in
my e-mailbox ... no Oregon City Police Officers knocking on my door,
politely inquiring after my welfare. Still, I can totally empathize
my co-workers, especially the tiny handful of them who are looking a
lot like *I* used to look after a holiday weekend. It took every
*Willpower Molecule* I possess to keep from picking up the phone at
5:47 a.m. this morning, calling my boss at home and announcing that
I've got the stomach flu/that my ceiling collapsed/that my grandma died
(again), just to buy myself an additional eight or nine hours' worth
of "People"-and-Pillow Time. What finally got me out of bed and
propelled me into the shower was knowing how my unscheduled absence
would screw things up for JoAnne today. My reputation for professional
reliability has become very important to me in recent years. I
twenty years without one, after all.
I want to save my
precious stockpile of sick time for an authentic emergency. Like
honest-to-god stomach flu. Or an actual collapsed ceiling. Or (knock
wood) a legitimate family crisis.
like the Monday morning
after I ride my first FIFTY miles.