Back to work today, and there is a reason I never go back on a Monday. After a couple of weeks of being able to get up when I want* I once again set the alarm clock to the grim target of 6am.
*as long as it coincides with when the dogs want to get up.
The first day itself is hard enough to navigate, with its whole eight hour running time, but to add an additional four of those to follow before the next break makes the whole experience a little too close to psychological trauma.
For this reason I generally return on a Wednesday or Thursday, and try to make one of my first tasks booking more holidays.
Today’s return was a little different as my holiday had been interrupted by work anyway, which meant I had been back to the office already. I also had a pile of things to do, which I normally do not have and so did not spend the day staring mutely at a silent screen while trying to convince myself that the holiday was really over.
I mostly tried to hide. In the way that you want to hide from a wall of the same questions and responses. You kind of need a poster or a T shirt for this time of year:
YES happy new year to you, too
YES I did eat too much
YES I did get a haircut
NO I am not happy to be back at work
YES you can tell me about your family if you want
YES my nephew was super cute and voted me his favourite ever auntie in WA.
NO I really do not want you to send me the thing that you could have done but then did not, knowing that if you delayed long enough I would have to do it, even though you decided last year in a burst of madness that you were the one to do it, until you got bored with interferring in my job.
YES I have got salad for lunch but I am pretty sure I will have eaten lunch by 10.30 am and will need to go out for chips.
Just before I left for the end of the day, my husband messaged me to say the power was off at home.
I checked the utility supplier: about 30 000 people were without power, because apparently there had been a light sprinkle of rain this morning, following humid weather, and that combined with the dust from the recent heat had blown stuff up.
My garage door is electric, so I decided to back the car down the driveway. That way, at least I could drive it straight out tomorrow if my garage door still refused to open and I could not perform my customary three-point turn with the end of the garage as one of the points.
I inched my way down the driveway, like a fat woman trying to get into a hot bath on a cold day, or like me, trying to get back into work after three weeks off.
As I pointed the air key at the door, I wondered what other people call the little things that they point at units. In our family, the TV remote control has always been “the fonger” but I remember hearing John Peel do a program about the different names families use to describe a variety of remote controls.
The power was back on and the door slowly opened. I inched the car back into the garage space. Back into it, 2017.