Six am on Monday and my work phone is already ringing. I work with people who live in different time zones, and it's not their fault that I have established myself as an early bird. I curb my snarl and force myself to care about formatting a table.
Later I call Dan on work-related business. I have told one of his employees that years ago Dan and I were seasonal trail crew/wilderness rangers together, and that we suspected Dan of being inhuman because of how fast he hiked, showing no sign of weariness. The employee hesitates, disbelief in his voice. "Yeah, he sits behind a desk all day now," he says. When I talk with Dan I say, "Remember? We would have died if we thought we were going to sit at a computer back then." I don't know about him, but I feel a pang for the girl I was.
Yep, folks, it's the post trip blues. I've had two great adventures, in two deep canyons, and while I know this is a first world problem, it is always hard to wrench myself from that to my working day. I try, though. I make a list in my head of all the fun things I've managed to fit in this week, or little gems that have shone out from the rainy dark. For example:
1. At the gym, a man watched me closely, while I tried to ignore him. Finally he said, "You're lifting those weights as if they were nothing!" And I felt a touch of pride. Then he said, "That weight's pretty good for..." and his voice trailed off. What had he meant to say? A girl? An old lady? Whatever. I chose to take it as a compliment.
2. I went on a great run in the park. In shorts. And a T-shirt. Without ice grippers. I can't stress enough the wonderfulness of these things. Don't you always feel faster when you run in shorts, without all the winter layers? Of course it is snowing again now, but you take what you can get.
3. I finished a chapter of my Alaska memoir and sent it to my writer's group. I have no idea where this memoir came from; it's just spilling out, not something I planned on writing at all. But there you go. It's nice to be freely writing again. I realize as I write it just how extraordinary my life has been, and that maybe it can be that way again.
4. It's supposed to rain this weekend! Which on one hand, boo. On the other, yay, I can set up my new tent and see how it works out. I love, love sleeping in the rain in tents, especially when I know I don't have to get up and hike twenty miles the next day with everything wet. It's the big test before the Washington Cascades, so I am excited to see how it goes.
5. I opened the door this morning to let the cat in, and let not only the cat in but a mouse it was chasing. For some reason this makes me giggle, even though the mouse ran and hid and is in the house somewhere. What are the odds of this happening? I think of all the people who would freak out about this and am glad I'm not one of them.
Navigating the post trip blues can be difficult. More and more I know I am meant to be out in the woods, not at a desk. Someday I will figure out how to make my life one long adventure again. Until then, I'll try to mine the work week for little things that shine.
Do you get post-trip blues or is it just me? How do you deal?