Post-Vacation Meltdown

Kathryn Grill-Hoeppel(Maybe more appropriately titled: Many Ounces of Prevention Still Couldn’t Prevent THIS Post-Vacation Melt-Down…)

I’m one of THOSE people. Anal-retentive and practical to a fault. Works pretty good most days to keep most areas of my very compartmentalized life happily buzzing right along. Worked even better when I was in wrap-it-up mode right before vacation a month or so back.

To those who believe that you can’t think of everything: I’m the proof that you can. And I did. I planned. I listed. I double-and triple-checked the plans and the lists and it was all taken care of well in advance.  I did everything the “right” way, and tried to be as proactive as I could stomach being in order to make it easy to hit the ground running as soon as I got back.

And it all completely backfired.

Strike One: After all-nighters and tortured hours of proposal writing, along with some submission strife, I LOST. I was rejected for all three of ’em. For reasons I thought were pretty lame.

Strike Two: A years-old commercial contract is now coming to a fast end because of a company mandate to not use contractors after January 1. I won’t miss the client, but I’ll miss their predictable needs and payments.

Strike Three: I finished a Marketing Mentor group the day before flying, and was already overwhelmed by the scope of marketing responsibilities that needed to start, continue or otherwise affect my already-full-upon-return calendar. Because of feeling defeated and whiney about strikes one and two, I ended up doing exactly none of what I had planned to for business-building and outreach efforts.

While Three Strikes didn’t really equal out (of business), it certainly was not a great incentive to transition from vacation mode to business mode. Besides all that, I experienced acute withdrawal from the seasick patches I wore so that I could enjoy our trip. The angry seas caught up with me on land, and stuck around for a good three weeks before I was able to ditch the Dramamine.

When the world stopped spinning, I knew I had to act fast to bust out of this negative and damaging mental state. I fell back into the same practical habits I turn to on any normal week: planning, making lists, prioritizing, doing.

Flipping through my Marketing Mentor and CFC 2010 notes helped me divine some direction and gave me a place to start. I established an order to my most urgent projects, and began to reintegrate the new business-building habits that I had worked so hard to learn in the first place. Doing what needed to be done – slowly at first, but now nearly normal again.

It’s all starting to fall back into place. I’m finally feeling better, and starting to make some progress again. I’m doing what I do best: being a practical, anal-retentive planner list-maker… my usual. And that’s proving to be the best medicine of all.

Am I alone in this?

2 thoughts on “Post-Vacation Meltdown

  1. Laurel Black

    Hi Kathryn – your post really hit home for me. I write this sitting in a DC hotel room on the last night of my vacation looking at the list I made before leaving of Things To Do on my return. None of them look very familiar. Fortunately I have a reliable assistant who has been keeping the flow going and fielding emergencies and emails (“Hi, I hope you aren’vacation because I am down to 2 business cards and need to reorder – can I get them by the end of the week?”) Between her and the List, I hope to avoid the meltdown you described. Good to know that it was temporary!

  2. Pamela Saxon

    Hi Kathy… because I feel like I know you pretty well since we were both in the marketing group together, I just want to say, “Good for you for actually taking a vacation.” (and you too, Laurel!) Perfectionism can be a really good trait to have (in order to get things done, and done RIGHT), but can also be a bitter pill at the same time, when things don’t turn out the way we have imagined they would. In other words, sometimes life brings us lemons.

    My question to you is this: Do you think those submissions would have come through if you hadn’t gone on vacation? Is there something you did differently because you were getting ready to leave?

    I guess I’m not really understanding how it all backfired. In my mind, you were being a responsible business owner, getting everything done in order to go on vacation. What happened from that point on really had nothing to do with what you did or didn’t do, it was just a “day in the life of the business owner,” and what you choose to do with that from this point on is what really matters in the overall scheme of things.

    Does that make sense? I think you are awesome, and the things you have done up to this point are incredible. Could it be you’re being a little too hard on yourself? Just playing devil’s advocate, here. (Glad you got your land legs back!)