Reentry | A Working Library:
The first day back at work after some time away is a kind of reentry: you’ve been in orbit, untethered from the gravity that typically keeps you in your chair, and now the friction of the atmosphere is rapidly warming you up, and weight is coming back into your bones, and it’s a lot to feel all at once.
I have often been very fortunate to be able to take a chunks of time off more than once a year. But I’ve also often been stunned by my own ineptitude at gracefully navigating the return. Many times my first days back at work were a mess of grief, rage, busyness, frustration, and melancholy—this even when I was really content with my job, when I knew I was in the right place.
After a lot of years of observation and reflection and practice, I learned two things: first, that some part of that transition was both inevitable and useful, and that I could develop the skills to more capably traverse it; and second, that some part of it was signal that I needed to heed.
I am really feeling this today.