Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jet Lag

jet lag: a condition that is characterized by various psychological and physiological effects (as fatigue and irritability), occurs following long flight through several time zones, and probably results from disruption of circadian rhythms in the human body.
Our family traveled some 7700 miles across the Pacific Ocean crossing several time zones on the way...and back.   We were jet lagged when we got to the Philippines disrupting all our relatives with our unusually early waking-up and going-to-bed times.  When we could finally adjust to the time difference, it was time for us to head back to California.   We are jet lagged again.  The kids are going downstairs at two o'clock in the morning to get some milk from the fridge and Tim at four eating some cereal. 

The temperatures have dropped a lot since we left and therefore our bodies also have to adjust to the cold weather condition.  The daylength is a lot shorter now too - about 9 hours of light.  Let's assume that we are really adaptable to the changes in the climate - that still does not make our adjustment easy.  Why?  We still are lagged behind in so many ways.

When we left we knew that we were arriving on Thanksgiving Day.   We planned to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal the next day - which we did.  It was very good and relatively easy.   We even used our nicer plates, goblets, serving dishes, and even our finer cloth napkins.  It was like the real deal.  We enjoyed our belated Thanksgiving 2010.  The bad news is that we saw our friends on Facebook and they are now decorating their Christmas trees.  If there is such thing as "season-lagged", that would be the best word to describe us now.  Our six-foot fake Christmas tree can be easily brought down from the attic along with the boxes of stored Christmas decorations up there.  I could ask Tim or Brahms to bring them down and they would comply.  Psychologically, however, I am not prepared for seems like I skipped the incubation period for the Christmas spirits to develop in me.  I could pretend that I already caught it but it is not the same.  I need to learn from my children who are busy working trying to catch up, on their own pace, with what they missed in school and hoping that their class has not gone so far ahead.

On the other hand, jet lag can be beneficial to mental well-being.  In spite of all the ads in the mail, the usual urge to go shopping is absent!  Hooray!  This is great!  Now all I have to do is to be creative; make use of my "disrupted circadian rhythms" to think of ways to celebrate Christmas stress-free. 

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