Teacher Professor

March 22, 2010

Time Zone Shuffle- 3:30am

Filed under: Autism,Home Things — Teacher Professor @ 11:43 am

I’ve just returned from a whirlwind of travel and I’m in such sympathy with my children.

On Wednesday, I was up at 3:30am- East Coat time- after the time shift the previous weekend, so I wasn’t completely adjusted yet anyways.  My flight to San Antonio left at 7:00am from Jacksonville, an hour away, so crack of dawn found me zipping down the highway in my car.  Flew to San Antonio wedged in the back corner of the plane, saw family, did the book store signing, and ate Mexican food- overall, a lovely time, but rather sensory-overloading.

On Saturday, I was up at 3:30am- Central time.  My flight to Los Angeles left at 6:00am, so dark of dawn found me zipping down the highway in a rental car.  Flew to Los Angeles wedged in the back corner of the plane, surprised one of my very good friends for her 40th birthday, played Putt-Putt, ate chicken satay and coconut shrimp and waded in the Pacific ocean.  Overall- a wonderful time, but rather sensory-overloading. 

On Sunday, I was up at 3:30am- Pacific time.  My flight to Jacksonville left at 7:30am, two hours away, so crack of dawn found me zipping down the highway in a shuttle car.  I flew home, propped up against a window- finally!   Ate nothing all day.

By the time I landed, I was a shaking, shivering mess- completely sensory-overloaded and ready to cry because all I wanted to do was crawl into my own bed- wrapped in MY blanket and hugging on MY children and husband. 

I also realized how much sympathy I had for my children.  I felt like a hedgehog- prickly and sensitive and overly aware of all of the emotional intensities around me.  I was tired of being aware of family tensions and dynamics – my own and family not my own.  I was tired of strange food and strange oceans.  I was tired of trying to show to others how much I truly appreciated them and the celebration, while battling fatigue and words not coming easily.  I was tired of trying to talk to so many people.  I was tired of not knowing what time it was.  I’m not ungrateful and I love all of these people.  I’m just … tired.

I cried on the way home, hugged my children and husband, enforced the rules that had been “forgotten” in my absence, downloaded with my husband, wobbled close to a melt down, and went to sleep- HARD!

All the way until 6:30am.  Ahhh… life is good again.  And I am so deeply grateful that all it takes for me is a good 7 hours of sleep to get out of the time zone shuffle.  My children?  Sleep certainly helps all of us.  But some understanding, some love, and some time to crawl under the bed in a dark, quiet spot, are all good ideas. 

Back out from my covers…  and singing Matchbox 20.

It’s 3 am I must be lonely
When she says baby
Well I can’t help but be scared of it all sometimes
Says the rain’s gonna wash away I believe it

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