How to get back in the swing of things

Published 11:48 am Monday, January 7, 2019

The holiday season is over. A new year has begun. You can toss that old calendar out the window (or preferably into a trash can. We frown upon littering here). For plenty of people, the past few weeks have been a step outside of the usual routine and a descent into chaos.

You know how it is. There is the last-minute scrambling to get work done before taking time off. All those extra hours and weird schedules feel a bit nostalgic for the old student days, all the procrastination on important papers until the very last possible minute. It’s exactly like that only instead of getting grounded by your parents for not getting it all done, you lose money.

Then there is the frantic cleaning in anticipation of relatives coming to visit. Heaven forbid it looks like someone actually lives in your house! The spring-cleaning-in-late-December is typically followed by cooking enough food to feed a small army, regardless of how many family members actually come to visit. Actually, you could probably just rename Christmas as “Thanksgiving Part 2” based on how many leftovers there are.

Then, of course, there’s the nightmare of traveling.

Actually, let’s not even talk about traveling.

But now that’s all behind us. It’s January now, and it’s time to get back into the swing of things. It’s time to settle back into our old routines. Here’s a handy-dandy how-to guide for dealing with the post-holiday season:

Step one: Make some New Year’s resolutions. You’ll really feel like you have some control over your life if you set some goals. Make sure you have a good mix of realistic attainable goals (“eat more vegetables”) and unrealistically optimistic ones (“spend less money”).

Step two: Promptly forget all of these resolutions within a week.

Step three: Complain to everyone you know (and sometimes strangers on the street) about having to go back to work. Be sure to note how far away your next holiday break is, no matter if that’s in a few weeks or a few months. Even if you like your job, you can’t truly get back into your routine without getting this confession off your chest.

Step four: Grimace at all the leftovers still crowding your fridge, and then go out to eat instead.

Step five: Remember your New Year’s resolutions and feel guilty. Continue, however, to not fulfill them.

Step six: Try to catch up on everything you’ve missed in the outside world during the hazy week between Christmas and New Year’s. Feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of information out there. Give up on trying to catch up.

Step seven: Ignore the constant feeling that you’re forgetting something. It will go away eventually. Probably. Maybe.

Step eight: Start wishing for next Christmas and all the craziness of the holiday season. That’s when you truly know you’ve settled back into your old routine.

So there you have it! Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be back to the old grind in no time.


Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or by phone at 252-332-7206.