Whenever I arrive back in London, two things always immediately go out the window: my plans for the day, like grocery shopping, unpacking, working and cleaning; and every bit of advice I’ve ever heard about beating jet lag, like stay up until a normal bed time, go out in the sun, exercise and DON’T TAKE A 5-HOUR NAP!
I got in at the crack of dawn on Friday, had to struggle with my suitcases on the Tube because the Heathrow Express and Connect trains were broken, but still managed to catch Stephen before he left for work in the morning. I briefly struggled with the old long-distance travel priority battle — shower, sleep or eat? — before taking a 5-hour nap, the one thing I was not supposed to do. When I woke up I was in no state to do my full weekly Aldi-Iceland-Sainsbury’s-Tesco run; it took everything I had to put on shoes and walk down the street to buy bananas and yogurt. I struggled to stay up until dinner, then afterwards dozed off a couple times with my laptop on my lap while trying to get some work done. That night I got nine hours of sleep and woke up feeling like jet lag, shmetlag, I’m back! …but I forgot that the worst night of recovering from jet lag is not the first, when you’re exhausted from traveling in general and not sleeping a wink on the plane, it’s the second… and third… and DEAR GOD WHAT IF I CAN NEVER GO TO SLEEP AT A REASONABLE HOUR EVER AGAIN?!
If you can’t tell, I’ve had three straight nights of struggling to fall asleep before 3 a.m. Working from home and setting my own hours is a blessing and a curse.
In an effort to battle my jet lag and just enjoy this beautiful if-it-were-anywhere-else-it’d-be-mild, but-since-it’s-the-UK-we-treat-it-like-summer 60-degree weather, Stephen and I went for a run Sunday and Monday morning (since yesterday was a bank holiday and everyone was off). My lungs felt better than when I did the 5K race last weekend and I was trying to push myself a little bit yesterday, thanks to Stephen’s “You can do it!” encouragement, as well as that of a random guy parking his car nearby who heard Stephen shout it and chimed in. I was feeling pretty good as we ran along the path that cuts through the football pitches (soccer fields) in Regent’s Park. One minute we were laughing and quoting lines from “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” the next I was eating pavement, fully sprawled out on my stomach in what had to be one of my most majestic wipeouts yet.
After Stephen made sure I was OK, he burst out laughing. Once I shoved down the “this hurts and I kind of want to cry” feeling, I did too. Because I have no idea how I managed to trip on absolutely nothing or how I ended up landing face-down with my left hip bone taking most of the brunt.
It’s probably because my hands were full with my phone and water bottle so I only half caught myself, skinning my left palm and thumb and right wrist and elbow. Luckily it was not as bloody or painful as my fall last fall — after walking it off I was able to jog back home, mostly because I was anxious to get home to the Neosporin and bandaids which were a mile away. I’m glad I was not hurt too badly and that everyone playing football had a good laugh. It’s also a testament to the iPhone 5s’ and my cheap panda case’s durability — that thing went flying across the pavement and didn’t receive a scratch. I wish I could say the same about myself.