Monday, January 4, 2010

Post-holiday blues

How many of you suffer from a serious let-down once the holidays are over? For me, I think it goes back to childhood when the minute the holidays ended, it was back to the routine of school and studying. Now, of course, we head back to work -- and dieting -- after days, if not weeks, of celebrating, parties, family gatherings and all the special foods we indulge in during this time of the year.

I've also discovered over the years, that I feel a similar let-down when I wrap up a book and send it off to my editor. It's the creative version of post-partum depression, I think. And the best thing for that, I discovered a long time ago, was to be ready to dive right into the next book.

Similarly, the best thing for curing the post-holiday blues, it seems to me, is to plan new activities for the new year. Schedule visits with friends. Order tickets for an upcoming event. Plan anything that will have you looking forward, rather than backward to all the excitement that's now behind you.

I'm lucky this year. Not only do I have old friends visiting next week, but there's to be a reunion of many of the people I worked with years ago at the Miami News. I've kept in touch with quite a few of these now scattered and, in some cases, now retired journalists and photographers, but there are many others I haven't seen in ages. I'm really looking forward to reminiscing and catching up.

And I've just made plans for another friend's visit in March. One thing about spending winter in Florida, there's no shortage of people anxious to escape the cold for a bit. One thing I know for sure we'll do is to attend the Sony-Ericcson tennis tournament. I've already ordered the tickets and have my fingers crossed that this time I'll get to see Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer play, though no matter who's on court, it's bound to be exciting.

There are obviously still a lot of gaps in my winter calendar, but just having these visits to look forward to has cheered me up considerably now that the holiday season is over. And of course, I also need to take out the watercolors I received for Christmas and start trying them out. I doubt I'll become a great artist at this stage of my life, but if I can get one single painting to look anything like what I see in my head, I'll consider it a coup.

So, get busy. Start making plans with your friends. Take up a new hobby. Make sure that 2010 gets off to the best start ever.

Happy new year!
Sherryl Woods


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