Although I have mostly integrated my Western Washington self and my Colorado Springs self, I find the first day or two after traveling really disorienting.
Coming back to Colorado is the more disorienting of the two transitions. It doesn’t help when I have lost a lot of sleep.
So Wednesday night I had two hours of sleep. This led to a very confusing time checking in at the airport at 5am on Thursday. They have those machines now, the do-it-yourself check-in touch screen computer screens. Although I was flying into Denver, I did not remember this until I’d failed three times on the computer screen typing in Colorado Springs, and then stood in line and talked to a real person. The real woman I spoke to made me wait, “I’m not ready for you yet,” and probably because I was so tired, I felt sure that she was clacking away nonsense on her computer keyboard simply to put me in my place. I explained the confusion I felt that my flight didn’t exist and it wasn’t until she used the word, “Denver” that I realized my mistake.
Once I was finally back in my room in Colorado, I did some random unpacking and took a nap. Then I read, or tried to read and took another nap. Last night, exhausted at 9pm, I fell asleep hard and woke up almost twelve hours later. This was not disturbing to me, but a relief to have gotten sleep I obviously needed.
What was disturbing is how the day unfolded following this epic sleep… I had a plan to get some things done for school. Class starts up again on Monday and while the students will have a lot to do, there are things for us to do for them before they get started. I got up and took a shower with this in view. I had the use of a car and I thought about going to a coffee shop. I also needed to go grocery shopping because I had absolutely no food.
Instead of going someplace directly, I headed in a particular direction with one place in mind and then changed my mind part way there, remembering some place closer. The coffee shop I chose was not right for two reasons, one it was packed full of people and there was no place for me to sit and work. Two, as is usually the case, they had nothing I, with my gluten intolerance, could eat. So I got a big cup of coffee and got back into the car, totally unsure where I would go next. I sat in the car listening to an audio book for a while and then started driving. I finally decided to go grocery shopping, but this after taking unplanned and directionless turns for a while, feeling the clock ticking on a stomach filling with coffee but no food.
Somehow, miraculously, I managed to grocery shop without losing my wallet, without buying weird things I won’t actually eat. I managed two stores and even remembered the few things I needed that I don’t normally buy.
There is some point in a day like this in which I realize I will not actually get any work done. Since I’ve begun to be a bit more gentle with myself these days, this realization came with no guilt trip. I did laugh a little that I’d had to follow myself around all day like a wandering Alzheimer patient before I could admit rest was a higher need than work.
It’s also a bit funny because the audiobook I’m listening to has introduced these creepy, sick people into the story and I keep trying to guess what’s wrong with them. “They’re dead!” “They’re aliens!?” “They’re ZOMBIES!” I do this, impatient for it to be revealed but simultaneously enjoying the mystery. I almost see someone following me around all day today doing the same kind of guessing. “She’s happy?” “She’s hungry?” “She’s angry?” “She’s A ZOMBIE!”
I’ll try that work thing again tomorrow.