roadtrips to new-where, ups and downs

Still adjusting

I don’t know if I’m mentioned it (ha!) but I recently went on a grand roadtrip adventure. I just went back to work this week, and they’ve been trying really really hard to make me regret returning.

OK, maybe they aren’t trying, exactly, but the net result is the same.

So in terms of workload, I’m still adjusting to the pace. But that’s not the only way that I’m a bit out of sorts.

I keep waking up in the middle of the night, not knowing where I am.

It’s not as alarming a feeling as you might imagine. I don’t feel unsafe or upset.

I just wake up at 1 or 2 AM, and for a moment I try to remember which city I’m in. I wonder what day it is. I feel almost a compulsive need to check my phone before I go back to sleep.

All exactly as I would do on the trip,  when my system was a bit out of whack from the time zone changes, and the hotel rooms all started to look alike, and the days of the week lost their meaning, and my phone was my alarm clock* and my lifeline back to real life.

I’ve been back 5 days, and still night after night I wake up like this, not sure at first where I am or when I am. And night after night as I wake up with this increasingly familiar feeling of being displaced in space and time, it comes with a vague sense that there’s something I need to do… that if I do whatever that is, I’ll be sorted out and be able to sleep.

But then in another moment, while I’m still trying to figure out what it is I think I have to do, I realize where I am. I remember that this comfortable bed is mine. I recollect that I don’t need to rely on my phone to wake me; my alarm clock is right there at the bedside. And I recognize that the only drive I’ll be making in the morning will be the one to the office.

It’s not that this middle-of-the-night confusion is necessarily a bad feeling, per se. I just wonder how long it’s going to last.


*Off topic: can someone please explain why hotel alarm clocks just keep getting more and more complex, such that you need an engineering degree, and possibly a screwdriver, to set the alarm?

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