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Column: Dealing with a vacation hangover

I have to admit -- probably much to Nathan's chagrin -- I've been a little slow to get back into the swing of things this week. I'm trying to get my groove back. I really am.

I'm suffering from a vacation hangover. You know, that first few days when reality comes crashing back and obligations you've run from can't be outrun anymore.

The Friday after Dew Days, I took a simple little 10-day break from everything. No newspaper. No part-time deli gig. No American Legion Auxiliary. No nothing, with the exception of a meeting for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum at the state fair. I didn't just turn my back on my obligations. I turned and ran like the wind.

The past three months have been somewhat of a blur. I think it started in late March, when I realized I had an annual report due for the Auxiliary by April 15. I got that done, but then shifted, almost immediately, into finishing out the meeting year with the Auxiliary. Then came a mixture of Memorial Day planning, Poppy sales and scholarship awards.

And that was just for the Auxiliary. Meanwhile, here at the paper, we were short a person for about three months, as one of my co-workers was out on maternity leave. Our deadlines changed, too. Combine that with planning and putting out a graduation section and photographing graduation and I was getting a little burnt out.

But right after graduation, we slid into Dew Days. Besides the weekend of activity I was shooting pictures of, I also planned and put on two events. It was a fun weekend, but by the time it was over, I was more than ready for that vacation I'd planned.

I mentally separated myself from all things Farmington. I told everyone who would listen that the only thing that would get me back into town would be if a tornado struck my house. Otherwise, I was gone.

My vacation wasn't even anything big -- just spending a week at our family's cabin with my beau. We fished, a lot. We cooked over the fire. We went to St. Croix Casino one night (I lost $1, which I didn't think was too bad) and to a seafood restaurant (yes, I ate seafood in Wisconsin) another night. We played yard games and I drank my first 40-ounce beer.

And then it was Saturday, and he had to go back to work. I went back up later that day, spent another night at the cabin with my folks and my aunt and uncle. I came back Sunday evening, unpacked the coolers and headed to Hastings to watch fireworks with my niece and sister-in-law.

By Monday, I was wiped out. Wiped out from my vacation. I started laundry, but fell asleep on the couch and didn't get as much done as I'd hoped. I tried to work on the afghan I'd started while at the cabin, but I kept nodding off. I finally called it a night at 9:30 p.m., but still managed to lose the battle against my alarm clock Tuesday morning.

I probably could have tried to ease back into reality sometime this past weekend. After all, I started to think about this very column sometime Sunday afternoon ... then reminded myself I was on vacation. I opened all of my mail Monday night and found out I had a picnic and meeting for the Auxiliary to go to this Sunday and browsed through information about the newspaper museum, but tried hard not to think too much on either -- I was still on vacation.

When I came back Tuesday morning, I was greeted by an open door. Turns out, our air conditioning took a break sometime last week. I spent the better part of my first hour simply trying to catch up on the emails that I'd received over 10 days, then shifted into trying to type up copy for this week's paper and put pages together.

Which brings me to where I am now. Still trying to pull my thoughts together, still trying to regroup.

And counting the days until the weekend.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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