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Two Decades of Kids and Counting

By Sally Torbey

About this blog: About this blog: I have enjoyed parenting five children in Palo Alto for the past two decades and have opinions about everything to do with parenting kids (and dogs). The goal of my blog is to share the good times and discuss the ...  (More)

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Enjoying jetlag

Uploaded: Jan 5, 2017
We spent the holidays in my husband’s country of origin, Lebanon. After 10 days of continuous feasting and feting with relatives and friends in a time zone 10 hours ahead of California, we are all jetlagged and sleep-deprived. There hasn’t been a period of two hours since our return that the entire household has been asleep as our biological clocks are out of sync and someone is always awake and rummaging in the kitchen for sustenance in the wee hours of the morning. After his quiet “staycation” at the kennel, the dog doesn’t know what to make of all the commotion!

I am finding myself most productive between 2 am and 5 am. It is amazing how much I can get done in the calm and quiet of the night without the distraction of emails, texts, and phone calls, or the ruckus of leaf blowers, wood chippers and construction vehicles. For the first time in 25 years I am caught up with the laundry and ironing. I have responded to all correspondence, planned our February ski vacation, and have dinner prepared each day by 9am. I am considering adopting a nocturnal life style. Of course, the downside is I can’t complete any task that actually requires sustained concentration or a working memory and I fell asleep last night at 8pm. But the upside is that to accomplish anything in this compromised state I have to be focused and mindful. Avoiding my usual habits of multi-tasking and ruminating have increased my productivity!

Today’s New York Times had an article with tips to make 2017 “the year that you quiet all those negative thoughts swirling around your brain.” Swirling thoughts is a pretty typical state of my brain in normal circumstances, but such activity has been remarkably absent since our return. I resolve to relish and sustain this new-found calm, be it the result of a festive and joyous holiday, or just jetlag!
What is it worth to you?


Posted by TulsaNative, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Jan 5, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Great article! Happy New Year and pleasant dreams!

Posted by Maria, a resident of University South,
on Jan 5, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Welcome back and enjoy your quiet time. I recharge my energies enjoying my family. Happy New Year!

Posted by Samuel, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 5, 2017 at 2:57 pm

I am enjoying jet lag too!

Posted by LJ, a resident of another community,
on Jan 5, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Is the younger generation so resilient re time zones that they make it through the school day awake? Wouldn't surprise me!

Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jan 5, 2017 at 5:36 pm

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Hi TulsaNative,
Thanks for reading and commenting!

Hi Maria,
Happy New Year to you as well!

Dear Samuel,
You can always keep setting the alarm clock for 2am!

Dear LJ,
To be young again! They are all less fazed by this than us oldsters.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 5, 2017 at 9:28 pm

I am pleased and surprised at how you say you enjoy jetlag. This is something that I have to deal with frequently and it is not something I enjoy. Fortunately for you the whole family are suffering together so being able to turn on lights and make noise is OK. When it is just one member of the family with jetlag waking the rest of the household is not ideal.

The best way to deal with it from my experience is to keep quiet and mellow, use dull lights during the night, don't drink coffee or eat breakfast until daylight and if you wake at 2 am read or similar and go back back to bed a couple of hours later to see if you can sleep. Telling my body it is time to sleep rather than to let it be busy when the clock says it shouldn't be seems to keep me on the even keel of 1 day for each hour of jetlag time difference.

Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jan 6, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Dear Resident,
Thanks for reading and commenting!
Yes, when it comes to jet lag misery loves company. The dog, however, would probably be happier if we all followed your tips for recovering sooner than later.

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