Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Jet Lat? Or Something Like It...

Can you still call it jet lag after more than a week? I'm beginning to feel oddly suspicious that it is simply a deranged new sleeping pattern. I can remember times flying back from Hong Kong, typically an emotional mess, that I would go more than thirty hours without sleep and then turn into a gooey mess of time flipped confusion that seemed to go on for ages. Typically this was because I coddled to myself. If I felt tired I let myself sleep. Worse yet, I would let myself sleep whenever I felt like it for as long as my body felt like sleeping. Rookie mistakes that spread the adjustment process out for far too long.
I no longer have any excuses. I am no novice flyer. Okay, so it's not like I'm some sort of world traveling journalist or something, but I've done my fair share of getting around the planet. I know that, while it's fine to sleep as much as you want on a flight, when you arrive the goal is to stay up as late as humanly possible, then wake up when your body prompts you in the morning, regardless of how early that may be, and then press on actively all day until you collapse into sleep at the end of a long day at a reasonable hour. It's not an easy thing to do, but if followed the system works. This is especially true on holiday trips when you have only a couple of weeks to enjoy whatever distant land you have come to discover.
However, this trip is not like that. We have three months. That's almost enough time to be sloppy about it. If we spend a week in mindless self indulgence, we aren't going to waste our entire trip. There is still time to go into town and bask in the golden glow of the ancient spa hotels. The oplatky isn't going to all be consumed without us. The trains will still be there.
Then there's the whole issue of the snow. It's not really piling up just yet, but in a short lap around the house with Katcha the other night, I came in completely covered in white. It's sort of messy and all tied in with cold and wet, two things that have never been my faves.
At the same time, another thing that has never been my favorite, is the early morning. True, when I was a tiny tot I would miraculously wake up before 7 every Saturday morning in order to curl up in front of the television and watch the fuzz until the cartoons would be begin. The house was generally still asleep, except maybe for Dad, and I would keep the volume so low that it required me to sit within a few feet to hear anything at all. And I can't deny that Redding sunrises are a spectacular sight to behold, but I was always more than happy to curl back up in bed after witnessing them during my work mornings in college.
Anyone who knows me very well at all, or who has ever seen, or even worse HEARD me in the mornings is well aware that they just don't do it for me. I'd rather stay awake until 5 AM than get up at that heinous hour. But that is exactly what I have been doing. True, this is largely due to my sweet husband, who doesn't have my strict rules about getting over jet lag having only made this back and forth journey once in his life, and has been taking long afternoon naps that sometimes stretch until 3AM and then being fully awake through all those early morning hours. On both Tuesday and Wednesday he came in cheerfully at 5 and informed me that it was morning and therefore time to get up. The pitch blackness beyond the lacy curtains was more than enough to convince me that he was a liar. Mornings are supposed to be about warm sunlight stealing gently across the floor and sweetly nudging me into wakefulness. Apparently not any more.
While I was able to groan and squeal, and mostly convince him that what he was doing was sick and wrong, the damage was done. I was awake. The fact that his parents were up and getting ready to head off to work didn't make escaping back into blissful oblivion any easier. So on both occasions, by 5:45 or so, I gave up. Sure, it's true, you can get stuff done in the morning. I caught up in my journal, finished reading a book, and got back into my Denise Austin exercise videos. These are good things. They make it easier to be at least slightly energized and ready to go by 9 AM when I've been beginning work on my book writing.
Unfortunately, it also means something more sinister. By 8 PM I find myself getting downright groggy. 8. P. M. This is NOT okay in my book. Not even a little bit. So I know people who put their toddlers to bed that early, but I scarcely remember a time when 9 was not my earliest bedtiem. And I didn't even go to sleep right then. That was when Dad would start reading to us, not to mention prayer time that I always tried to stretch out as long as possible with the hope that he would fall asleep on the floor meaning I wouldn't have to fall asleep in the room alone. This was in large part because my dad IS a morning person.
Anyhow, I've been using whatever devices I can to keep myself up just as long as possible, but it's depressing to find myself falling asleep before ten, completely unable to keep my little eyes open. Then, this morning, my body had the audacity to wake up at 5 AM of it's own accord! Talk about total rubbish. I put off turning my lamp on until 5:30. The other half of the bed was already empty, seeing as how he had slept through most of the afternoon and evening, and had only come in for a little visit between 2 and 2:30 when he have up completely and went back to watching TV in the other room.
I'm really hoping a pattern isn't being established here that will run on for very long. Eventually I'm going to need to be up at night. It's just a must for my general well being. So for the state of my nerves, I think I'm just going to keep calling this jet lag a little bit longer and hope it all evens out in the right direction soon.


Unknown said...

I say, get up at 5:30 and enjoy time w/ everyone. And, yes, this is from the person that always went back to sleep after getting up at 4:30 to make a lunch or whatever. Now that I drink coffee, I'm realizing I missed out on some coffee drinking time w/ Kirk because "I wanted to sleep". And being reminded of all the things my sister-in-law got done because whe got up before dawn didn't help. However, looking back, it would have been worthwhile.

Transient Drifter said...

The problem is when I can't help wanting to fall asleep at 8. Just not so pleasant. Today we got up around 7. Far more manageable say I :)