Shivering in my robe, I waved goodbye as my son began his five-hour drive home. I turned to my husband. “So what do you want to do today?”
We entered the house to muffled sounds from the laundry room. My daughter, who departed earlier, had put a load of linens in the washer. The kitchen seemed larger without my daughter’s huge purse on the counter, devices being charged, and fancy water bottles. Our home was back to its norm.
“Really, what are you going to do today?” I asked.
“I’m going back to bed.”
Rejecting that option, I showered. I wasn’t going to feel blue as my main holiday excitement, having my adult children from out-of-town visit, came to an end. By the time I dressed, I’d made up my mind to listen to an audio book during a three-hour drive to Ocean City.
The book was great, Field of Prey by John Sanford, and the ride was relaxing. I stopped at Ocean Downs after getting shrimp salad at Crabs to Go, a nearby restaurant that I’d frequented often. Computerized slot machines that provide the user options, such as stop ping the machine or selecting a bonus option, remind me of arcades. I profited from my stop, which is unusual, and enjoyed listening to my book on the ride home.
The entire day, I hadn’t been sad because of the departure of my children. I didn’t miss playing the board game, Catan, with my son or talking with my daughter. The excitement of opening gifts, sharing happiness, and enjoying my Bacardi rum cake with others were memories awaiting quiet reflection.
I’d found the secret of how to avoid the after-the-holiday blues–immerse myself in activities I enjoy.