Negative Anticipation

How do you overcome the end-of-vacation dread? Or, if you're me, end-of-tiny-one-day-weekend or sometimes simply end-of-Thursday dread, because Thursday is a nice, pleasant day, and Friday is not.

I had a great Thanksgiving break. Wednesday night, I got to go to IKEA and eat the new version of the Daim-Torte that has cream! on top under a layer of chocolate, and my boyfriend bought a couch. Which I will get to sit on! someday in the future when perhaps I, perhaps he, perhaps a team effort has put it together. And then my dad had cooked my brother John and me meatloaf for dinner. In the morning, my family actually left on time to drive to my cousins' in Lansing, where we drank delicious late Riesling and I ate my third Thanksgiving feast of the week. On Friday, I went to my five-year high school reunion, and it was actually really fun. It was actually too short, or maybe just too crowded by the end. (We agreed that no one had really gotten fat.) I spent Saturday morning catching up with a friend from my year in Germany, and the afternoon was the fourth and final Thanksgiving, complete with tasty apple crisp—there's something different at every one—and a timid cat who not only allowed, but asked me to pet her for the first time ever.

And then it was home again, home again. I was sullen because I didn't know how I wanted to spend those last few hours of freedom. I'd been in a bad mood all day, when not otherwise occupied, and I couldn't shake it. Like I've written before, it gets better once I'm in it, it being that stupid normal thing that happens all the time and yet I dread, but it's so hard to convince myself ahead of time. At work at the restaurant on Sunday, we were doing what you might term 'deep cleaning,' because there wasn't a lot of business, and cleanliness is great. They're not all pleasant tasks, but it was fine. I got some stupid satisfaction from making things clean, and I chatted with my co-workers between tasks. When I left work, I was in a good mood. Once I sat down in the computer lab, after standing for seven hours, I almost fell asleep. Then I almost had Panera for dinner, but it closes early on Sundays. Then I almost made Kraft mac and cheese for dinner, but—surprise ending!–I had dinner with a friend and her mom who had just finished seeing a movie at my favorite theater, and everything was nice. I just wish I had been able to avoid the negative anticipation of the day before.

How can a regular human being like me avoid it? Or—why are vacations so seldom long enough?

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