Monday, February 27, 2006

Just tired

"You look really good," my friend Tammy said as I met her for dinner tonight. "But tired; very tired. Did you get some sleep?"

I mumble incoherently. I appreciate Tammy taking me to dinner tonight, but I'm afraid I'm not very good company. I am dead exhausted.

My plane out of Newark was delayed two hours last night, not because of anything in Newark. The flight was coming in from Columbus, to Newark and then to Austin and there were weather issues in Columbus. It was almost midnight when the plane landed in Austin. Of course, I couldn't fall asleep on the flight. It was after 1 when I got to bed, and had to get up at 5 to get ready and leave for school.

When I got home last night, it looked like a tornado had gone through the living room. I guess it was hurricane Allegra. Cushions were off the couch and terrible twosome had found a notebook and some paperwork from school and scattered them on the floor of the dining room. Evidently they decided to read one of Doug's brewing books as well. Additionally, it has been raining here for the last week and there is mud and dirt all over the floor. I think the governor could declare this an emergency area. I pick the stuff up off the floor and go to bed, trying not to step on too many clumps of mud.

After four hours of sleep, I get up and get ready for the day. Luckily, I have a guest speaker today, making it easier because I don't have to lecture. I'm not sure that I would made much sense today. I'm done by noon, so I come head home and crawl back into bed. At this point, the only time I've spent at home is asleep, or getting ready for bed or getting up from bed. The dogs must still be feeling anxious about me being gone as they got into things this morning while I was at school. Another pile of paperwork to pick up before the nap.

I sleep for a couple of hours then get up and start the processes of checking mail, voice mail and email. What have I missed while I was in New England? I know that really it had only been 5 days that I was gone, but given the intensity of my class before the trip, it feels like I've been gone weeks. I make a list of errands I need to do, but I put that off until tomorrow. I have slept only 6 out of the last 36 hours and still feel in a fog. I unpack my suitcase and gather my dry cleaning, dropping it off before I meet Tammy.

Dinner with Tammy was good; we hadn't seen each other since the holidays and needed to catch up. I really wanted to stay and chat for hours, but she could tell I was just tired and made up an excuse of why she had to leave.

As much as I enjoy being home, I always find re-entry into the real world difficult. When you travel, you don't have to be on schedules and timelines. You get to see and do new and different things. When you get home, reality strikes and there are bills and jobs and chores. Like an astronaut coming back from a deep space mission, you need a period of decompression to adjust from traveling mode to real life mode. At 21 I could go days with just four hours sleep. At 36, it's much more difficult. Fortunately, no school, no teaching, no nothing on Tuesdays, so tomorrow I will be able to crawl into my decompression chamber. Until then, I'm just tired.

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