Saturday, January 14, 2012

Melatonin And (A Wee Bit Of) Melancholy

Oh, the jet lag. 
What a sneaky little fellow it is.
Shawn’s lucky - he can go days and days with little sleep and still function decently.  
He can also fall asleep just about anywhere and anytime. 
I have very specific requirements for my sleep and the jet lag really isn’t on the list.
We’ve been back for a week and yesterday was the first day I have felt rested.

Before we left the US, I bought some Melatonin.  Several people told me that it gets you through the jet lag because it makes you tired when you’re supposed to be tired, which is only half of my problem with the jet lag. 
(The other half is eating – the jet lag makes me hungry at ALL THE WRONG TIMES.) 

Anyways, our first night back in Luxembourg, I took a Melatonin around 10PM. 
I asked Shawn if he wanted one, too.

”Eh, I don’t need it.  I’m pretty tired right now and jet lag doesn’t usually hit me until a day or two later,” he said.

”I think you should try it.  Just in case you wake up and can’t go back to sleep.   A six hour time difference is a lot.  I just took one.  All the cool kids are doing it.”

There’s nothing like using adolescent-style peer pressure tactics to get your husband to take an herbal sleep aid.  
After an entire week of waking up from 2AM until 5AM, on Thursday night I fell asleep at 10 and woke up at 6. 
I felt like a new woman. 

So, Shawn and I have both been feeling homesick.
Like reeeeallly homesick. 
It’s totally normal and expected.
We’ve read that knowing that this is normal is the sign of a well adjusted expat.
We’ll see.  We don’t feel well adjusted right now. For the last week, we’ve talked more than once about buying one way tickets to the US.
Back in October, I went to a “spouses of expats” seminar and the instructor gave me this graph:

cultural adjustment

He told me that the culture shock stage occurs around the three month mark, which is right where we are.  I’m sure it doesn’t help that we returned home to the US for Christmas so soon after our arrival here.  We fell so easily back into what was comfortable.  And now, returning to a place that is only slightly familiar, knowing just how different it is to visit than to live here, well, it’s been hard.


Please don’t think that things have been all bad. 

On Monday, when I dropped Hannah off at school, I went to the grocery store, loaded up on what we needed and headed to the check out line. 
Do you see that?  That little sign means that the cashier speaks English.


Not only that, but she was brand new at her job and a little slow on the scanning and punching.  She kept telling me she was sorry.  I told her it was no big deal.  I’ve lived here less than 3 months.  She was so kind and friendly to me – this doesn’t happen often.  Believe me, I was as happy to be patient with her as I was to have a stranger be patient with me.

This doesn’t seem like much – but for me, on this day, I needed it.  Totally made my day.  Funny how an experience like this can change one’s perspective.

Also, Hannah is doing fantastic in school.  Her teacher sent a note home at the end of her first week saying that she is adjusting very well, plays nicely with the other kids, listens well and is confident.  And that makes this mama’s heart so, so happy. 
(Especially the part about being confident.) 


To our family and friends back home -
Call, text, email us.
Send pictures.  Send videos.

We love hearing from you.
Familiar voices and faces would be medicine to these homesick hearts.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there Tina, according to the graph things are going to get much better. :)

    That last picture of Hannah makes her look like a little german Gretel doll. So, so cute. BTW, she has the perfect name for y'alls new homeland.