Last week while on vacation I didn't think about work at all. That's not terribly surprising, however, as I have trained myself to cease thinking about work as much as possible once I leave. Sure, sometimes I'll be fuming about something that pissed me off, and I'll vent about it on the ride home, or occasionally a work-related thought will float through my mind (which I suppress as soon as possible), but generally I leave the office at the office. As I have been informed by my supervisor, I don't get paid enough to stress out over this stuff. (I knew that already, however.)
A week of not thinking about work, or, with minor exceptions, even touching a computer, was quite pleasant. It was particularly disturbing, then, when the first conscious thought that came to mind yesterday morning after I awoke—and I mean the first thought—was about work. I couldn't stop it; it just popped in. The project I'm working on was far from as far along as it should have been before I left, and I figured things would be pretty screwed after a week of being away. However, that was something that should have steered clear of my consciousness and subconsciousness (and unconsciousness) until the point where I was in the shower, at the very least.
I don't have much, but some paltry semblance of dominion over my thoughts in such a context should be within that purview. I don't think that's asking too much.
Suffice it to say the situation in the office was roughly what I anticipated. To be fair, as such it didn't affect me as much (regarding frustration levels) as had my first thought been along the lines of Hey-it's-going-to-be-a-great-day. (Even the deepest recesses of my unconscious mind cannot perceive any day involving work to approach that territory.) The lack of disparity between my expectations (suck) and the results (suck) left me feeling… well, not good, but not necessarily bad either… even after staying two hours late (in a futile attempt to keep my part of the project from being a bottleneck).
(I was in a much better mood than the day before I was leaving on vacation, when I was desperately trying to get things in some shape to survive while I was away, and others kept interrupting with insipid questions. That day I expected to be awful, but it proved a clusterf*ck, so frustration could not be mitigated. Preparing for vacation is often so stressful that one needs a vacation just to try to recover.)
Still, I cannot think that the due warning my mind wished to provide me could have been presented more gradually and achieved the same effect. In case the part of my brain that controls those post-somnambulance moments is reading this.
For what it's worth.