We’ve been home for a few days now and it’s been an interesting, if difficult, transition. Jet lag has been particularly brutal. In China, we’re used to a fairly early sunrise and here in western Pennsylvania the sun doesn’t rise until after 7:00 a.m. right now… our circadian rhythms are completely shot.
The jet lag has kept us from making many plans for this first week home (which has pushed the bulk of our plans to next week). At first it seemed that evening plans this week would be best, but with daylight saving time in full effect and an early sunset, I have felt tired basically from the time I get up to the time I throw myself upon the mercy of my bed. I haven’t been able to stay up past 9:30 p.m. yet.
Compounding the time crunch is the number of things we need to do and people we want to see. We made some plans ahead of time, but some friends and family were reluctant to make plans and wanted to “play things by ear.” This has turned out to be the most frustrating part of the trip home because now we are completely booked for the next week. It’s quite a harrowing schedule and any glitch of weather or illness could mean disappointment. The overlapping times mean Andy and I will have to split up and see people separately instead of together, to the chagrin of some. Sharing cars with family members while we’re home means we can’t always commit to the times people suggest.
It’s enough to break my heart and make me crazy at the same time.
We won’t be back to PA this year… And given the problems we’re having with jet lag by visiting during this season, we probably won’t come home next year at this time either. So we won’t be back for awhile. Maybe next summer. Maybe next Christmas. I’m not sure.
It’s been just five months since we left now, so that means at least another 12 months till we’re home again. So of course we want to see everyone! But it is SO hard.
What’s becoming clear is that keeping in touch with people is going to be more important than these rushed visits. It’s been painfully difficult to get people to engage with us while we’re gone. We have email, Skype, FaceTime, WeChat, and texting, and I have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, yet it seems we rarely hear from friends and family back home. Yes, it’s difficult to find times that work for two parties across several timezones, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. A separation of time and space also doesn’t mean you’re bothering us or we don’t want to hear from you. We just need to plan for it. Keeping in touch while we’re abroad just requires more planning than if we were in the same zip code.
That being said, if you’re reading this and you’re not sure how to keep in touch or you want to be in touch more often, let us know! ❤