January 16, 2017

Ivy and her children celebrating Christmas with their family in Noosa.

I AM suffering from post-holiday depression.

I know I shouldn’t do it but I always do – start getting excited for my annual Christmas holiday about two months before I leave. So when it’s all over it’s a huge let down.

After a fun-filled two weeks in Noosa and Brisbane, I am struggling (read failing) to get back into my normal routine.

I have become used to sleeping in, eating what I want (for which my thighs are now paying the price), drinking what I want (ditto my liver), palming off the girls to their aunties and grandparents and going to bed late.

So why I decided to arrive home late on a Sunday, to start back at work on Monday I’ll never know.

The first day back at work is always the hardest, right?

My nocturnal clock is completely out of whack so I don’t fall asleep until about 2am but then toss and turn all night because I’m worrying about not getting enough sleep.

In the morning I barely go through the motions — just managing to stop myself pouring a shot of vodka in my orange juice.

No, you are not on holidays any more Ivy.

The holiday flashbacks start and the lack of sleep adds to my already emotional state.

Hiding my holiday fat (thank you Spanx) and accentuating my holiday tan, I put on my bravest face and head out the door.

Feeling strong and ready for the day’s challenges, I walk into work; my head held high. I can do this.

Until the dreaded, inevitable ‘‘How was your holiday?’’

The tears I have forcefully held back and the lump I have painfully swallowed come flooding out.

I rush to the bathroom to avoid anyone else seeing me, crying in the toilet for another minute before wiping my mascara-smudged eyes and cheeks.

I am not an attractive crier. My nose goes red, my eyes swell and my skin blotches.

Because I forgot to bring any make-up, I look like I’ve downed a bottle of tequila, lost my best friend and fallen asleep in the sun — all in one day.

I sneakily return to my desk as if nothing happened and what computer-generated screensaver has decided to adorn my screen? Sandcastles on a beautiful beach.

It’s just a coincidence I tell myself as I go through my 2000 emails.

Is it home time yet? 10.05am. Dammit.

I write a couple of stories. Is it lunchtime yet? 10.59am. Morning tea will do!

Now I’ll just procrastinate (I mean work my butt off) until lunchtime.

When 12pm hits, I’m out the door.

It’s hot and humid outside. Just like Noosa. Oh God. Flashbacks.

I race to my car and more tears flow.

With a face looking like it’s been stung by a thousand bees, I trudge back to work.

‘‘Are you all right?’’ my work colleagues ask me.

Yep, bloody terrific thanks.

Eventually 3pm hits and so does the sugar craving.

I reach for the chocolate/lolly bowl and (shock, horror!) it’s empty.

‘‘Oh, our New Year’s resolution is no chocolates or lollies in the office,’’ my fellow journo Tyla oozes.

Um, I’m sorry. WTF did you just say?

I resist the urge to put my fist through the computer and tell myself I only have two hours left.

Two of the longest, most painful hours of my life (and I’ve given birth in that amount of time).

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