It’s time for the post-party blues again. Every year I throw a backyard barbecue for a bunch of friends. Usually somewhere from around 30 to 40 people show up and we all have a good time. I don’t have much to say about the party except that it’s fun.

The party doesn’t cause me much stress either. For anyone who has ever thrown a party that’s a big deal. If you’ve never thrown a party then let me tell you that they can be stressful. You worry about things going right and you worry about people who can’t make it. But I’ve been throwing this BBQ every year since 1991 so I’ve learned to let things go. If we run out of stuff someone will go to the store to get it. If someone can’t show up that’s okay. Enjoy the people who are at the party and don’t sweat those who couldn’t make it. Also let people help you. They want to.

The post-party blues happen after the party is over. Of course they do. That’s what “Post” means. Not right after the party though. Since the BBQ is on a Saturday that means that there is still probably a bit of cleanup the next day on Sunday. There are things to do. Often a few people stay overnight too. So the next morning there is breakfast and hanging out. That takes most of the morning so it’s not until the afternoon that everyone is gone.

This year I had something to do on Sunday afternoon. Usually I do nothing since I’m too tired and can’t concentrate. I sometimes spend that Sunday afternoon watching TV, a movie, or some such which is an unusual event for me since I don’t normally watch a movie in the afternoon. Not even a Sunday afternoon. I don’t know why but it’s just not my habit.

This Sunday afternoon I had some old photos to scan. Two of my party guests were old friends from my Marvel Comics days. Actually more than two were my old Marvel friends but these two brought old Marvel photographs. We all worked in the Marvel Bullpen in the 1990s. The photos were mostly of a couple of Holiday parties and a couple of Halloweens. I took a bunch of photos back in those days too but I’m always happy to add to the collection so my friends left the photos with me to scan in.

I have both a photo scanner and a negative scanner. Negatives give you a better quality but photos are easier to scan. I mention that because these were all photos and I want to set the stage. Scanning negatives can be real work but scanning photos can just be a task. A task is something I really don’t have to think about. It’s mindless repetition. It might not be totally mindless when it comes to scanning photos but it’s mindless adjacent.

So there I was on Sunday afternoon. I put three 4×6 inch photos at a time on the scanner, made sure they’re straight, closed the lid, previewed the photos in the scanner software, selected each photo individually, and then hit the scan button and waited five minutes. Repeat this about 40 times and you have 120 photos scanned. So that’s what I did all Sunday afternoon and into the evening. Sometimes getting lost in a task is like meditation. My mind is at peace as I run through the steps. It mostly kept the post party blues away.

That evening I decided to watch a movie. Avengers: Endgame. It was three hours long. It was a good movie and took me to bedtime when my tired self fell asleep. All in all the post-party blues didn’t affect me much on Sunday. Then Monday came.

We all get the Monday blues. It’s the back-to-the-grind day. I don’t have to explain that to anyone. I’ve been putting together my “Four Talking Boxes” comic strips on Monday mornings just so I can start my week out with something expected. After that I tried to get some art work done but nothing was happening. I was too distracted by the post-party blues creeping in. It also didn’t help that I was waiting on a phone call about some work and the phone call never came. That was an extra distraction from getting anything done.

I hadn’t finished scanning in all the photos yet but wasn’t planning on doing anymore that Monday. I really wanted to do something creative to shake of the doldrums but nothing creative was coming out of me. I had about 60 photos left to scan and so decided to tackle them. That took me a few hours but never in those few hours did I reach the peaceful meditative state of the day before. Instead I had to grind it out.

Grinding out scans is a lot different state of mind. Instead of the repetition soothing me I become aware of it. I have to make the conscious decision to keep going with every task. Instead of my hands doing the work without my mind being very involved I have to think about every step. It’s really annoying and slows things down.

As I’ve written about before scanning in old photos has it’s own type of ennui that can come along with it. Plus these were photos of parties. The post-party blues are how I describe the feeling of sadness after a party. That feeling hits me as I realize that every day isn’t a party. I had a lot of fun at the party so how come there isn’t another party the next day? Of course we all know we can’t have a party everyday but that logical answer doesn’t help when you’ve got the post party blues. Scanning in photos of parties past doesn’t seem to help much either.

So there I was with the post-party blues, scanning in photos from parties past, and waiting on a phone call that never came. That’s a recipe for sadness if I’ve ever heard one. Do you know what shook me out of my doldrums? I had small family party to go to that Monday night. A little hair of the dog.