Post Progress Depression


Melissa Stagnaro

I’m not sure I can even quantify the hours my colleagues and I have put in these last weeks on Progress. Of course, it’s not really over. It won’t be until the final installments appear on newsstands next Friday. Our sales staff is still doing the sell-sell-sell thing. And for Jeff, the work has really only just begun. He has to take all those fact-filled in-depth features and package them along with all those ads and success stories into the 10-section masterpiece all our readers are waiting so patiently to get their grubby little hands on.

For the editorial staff, however, the role we play in this, The Evening Sun’s premier publication, is largely done.

I should be thrilled, I know. And don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to repeat the process any time soon. Or add any more Progress responsibilities to my list of things to do, for that matter. (Jeff, don’t get any ideas.)

But there is definitely this post-partum-esq depression. I poured so much of my blood, sweat and, yes, even a few tears, into this project over the last few weeks, I’m almost not sure what to do with myself.

I thought I’d feel nothing but elation when I filed my final Progress story at 3:43 p.m. on Friday, exactly 1 hour and 17 minutes before our 5 p.m. deadline. Sure, I still had a few photo cutlines to finish up. (Or captions, in layman’s terms.) But it was like as soon as I hit save, I lost all sense of purpose.

Granted, that could have had something to do with the mental and physical exertion of spending more than 70 hours in the newsroom in a 5 day period, not to mention countless of hours at home the weekend before. The creative well was definitely dry at that point, and all my energy depleted. The only thing keeping me upright in my chair was the fear of missing deadline and letting Jeff down.

When it was over, I just felt totally spent. And vaguely ill. An empty, nauseous, light headed shell of my former self.

Although, in retrospect, some of that could have had something to do with all those Cherry Cordial Hershey Kisses.

(Not that it’s tempering my enjoyment of one of the same right now, mind you.)

A night with friends on Friday – followed by a weekend of rest, relaxation, tromping around the woods on snow shoes and a bit of Indian food – did wonders for my soul. I could almost feel my “batteries” recharging.

Not recharged enough though, apparently. As evidenced by my startling lack of productivity today. Oh, I’ve crossed things off my to-do list today. It’s just that my to-do list is the shortest it’s been in a really, really long time. And it’s kind of freaking me out.

Not to worry, though. The rest of my week is a tangle of interviews and meetings, so I’ll be back up to my usual frenetic pace before too long. Which, scarily enough, I find great comfort in.

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