1. confused or disconcerted; upset; frustrated
2. thrown into a state of confusion; having self-possession upset
3. how you feel after coming home from a monthlong trip on the other side of the planet
So, we've been back for about a week now. On the surface, everything is back to normal (whatever that means). But as all seasoned globetrotters know, the longer you're away and the farther you go, the more your world gets thrown off-kilter once you come home. How am I discombobulated? Let me count the ways:
Sleeping patterns. OK, this one I expected. I've been to Asia before. It takes a while to get over jetlag. But this whole routine of not being able to fall asleep before about 2am, and then waking up at 4am, wide awake with no hope of getting back to sleep before the alarm goes off in a few short hours... I'm about over it. I am not a morning person, so being fully awake before the sun comes up is a disconcerting situation, to be sure.
Christmas holidays. You'd think that having been bombarded by "holiday" decorations and music the entire time we were in Southeast Asia -- which was itself pretty discombobulating... Christmas in a predominantly Buddhist or Muslim country, in the tropical heat? huh? -- would have prepared us to launch into the Christmas season upon returning home. But somehow missing Thanksgiving really threw off the rhythm for me this year. It doesn't help that all of our holiday decorations are packed up in storage in my dad's basement, so the house is devoid of all visual cues. I'm just not ready to face Christmas in two weeks!
Stuff. Everywhere. We couldn't fit a Christmas tree in the living room even if we wanted to, as we're still dealing with piles of mail, half-unpacked bags, rows of souvenir gifts en route to friends and family, and bits of trip doggerel to be stuck into journals. Oy vey. Fortunately we have folks coming over on Sunday for a dinner party, which will force us to whip the place into presentability! (Yes, Virginia, that's what closets are for.)
Big changes in 2009. 'Tis the season for New Year's resolutions, and while I have some of the usual suspects -- get more exercise, eat more veggies, do more volunteer work, etc -- I've also decided it's time to shelve the extended travel idea for a while. Even though it's something I've wanted very badly for at least the past two years, when I closely examine the facts, all signs point to Now Is Not The Time. So what does that mean? Well, an end to living life on hold, for starters. We'll reclaim our house as a home, take it completely off the market, and bring back some of the personality that was stripped away when we vanillafied it (per our realtors' advice) for the Soccer Mom demographic. I'm going to work on finding a new job that incorporates travel, so I can hit the road on a regular basis and still hang onto a steady paycheck. (More on that to come, and I will definitely be hitting some of you up for brainstorming and other support!) And a few other attitude changes that basically sum up to enjoying life in the present tense.
So, yeah, I'm pretty discombobulated this week. But somehow I've also been enjoying it, for the most part anyway. I think it has something to do with not falling completely back into the old routine. Travel, after all, is about breaking your routine and pushing beyond your comfort zone. If I can hang onto some of that while traveling through each day, and still enjoy the ride, I'd be ahead of the curve.
C'mon, I can't be the only one discombobulated during this hectic season. Misery loves company! What's got you out of sorts?
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