All right. I know this post isn’t going to get me much sympathy after gallivanting around Australia for five glorious weeks (where it’s summer), maxing out the holiday cocktail budget line, and getting lazy on the blog front, but I have to level with you: the post-vacation jetlag seriously kicked my ass.
Without whining too much, the post-trip sleeping schedule was like having a newborn baby in the house. Consider a typical schedule: Go to bed at midnight. Wake up at 3 am. Lie in bed wide awake until 5:30 am. Sleep until 10 am. Wake up. Eat breakfast. Cobble together some kind of normal daytime routine. Pass out at 2 pm. Wake up at 3 pm. Shuffle about the house like a zombie for a few more hours. Go to bed at 7:30 pm, and hope to sleep longer (and more deeply) than the night before.
In addition to jetlag, I was also dealing with Tim-Tam withdrawal, a mile-high stack of bills, a mountain of laundry, and (shiver…) winter. After five weeks of not wearing pants, my milling about the house was done in full-on long underwear, polar fleece and Tasmanian wool socks. In my delirious, sleep deprived state, I somehow managed to convince myself (on January 13) that winter was practically over, and that my tan was most certainly going to last until May. I had even cooked up a plan to work at home and stay indoors for the rest of winter. I had the whole cheerful “I’m going to work at home until Easter! It’s going to be great!” sales pitch ready for my boss…thinking that it MUST be better than ‘calling in tired’.
By January 15, the dream had died, and I was back to dreading the trudge to the office in the -27 degree weather. Wah. (There’s that newborn thing again).
Reality set in. And reality is about more than circadian rhythms and catching up with friends and family. Post-vacation reality is about running an around the clock Laundromat, a satellite study hall (send your kids on over) and a winter taxi service (call for a pick-up). The only thing that wasn’t going on in my house was my blog: martinis for breakfast. Do you remember it? With comments left unanswered, and no new ‘material’, the best I could do when I sat down in front of the computer was catatonic rocking.
Unfortunately, after five weeks in Oz, I came back feeling a bit uninspired about my life here in Ottawa and the day to day ho-hum. One thing I’ve been thinking about (a lot) is winter. I’m not one to complain too much about the weather or winter. I think that it makes winter longer overall (kind of like looking at the goddamn map on a fifteen hour flight when you think that you surely must be there by now…NOT that this happened to me).
I have for sure cursed (silently) to myself while trudging to work. I have also asked myself such philosophical questions like: “Why do I live here?” So if in future blog posts I go on and on about perseverance, patience, and getting outside, just know that it’s more than that ‘blah blah blah’ that’s getting me through.
It’s the Hot Chocolate. The drink. Not the band.
And if I wasn’t doing the whole Shopping Embargo thing (curses!), I would have already bought one of these Bodum Chocolatieres and mixed up my hot chocolate with all sorts of yummy stuff. I know I’m not the only one putting Bailey’s in my hot chocolate
all the time on a semi-regular basis, but in my transition from Australia, I was looking for something a little more tropical in the hopes I could delude myself into thinking I was still in Oz.
The Mix: Jen’s ‘I wish I was still in Australia’ Hot Chocolate
1 oz Malibu Rum
0.5 oz Kahlua
Pour Malibu Rum and Kahlua into your favourite mug (or Bodum Chocolatiere…sigh). Fill to the top with Hot Chocolate (however you make it). Stir. Or froth. Bloody shopping embargo.
Now if you are used to Baileys in your Hot Chocolate, this drink may take a bit of getting used to, but the shot of that Malibu Rum definitely introduces a nice tease of the tropics that is just as good as a SAD lamp for getting you through the winter blahs.
I do have to come clean and tell you that I actually got the idea for this Hot Chocolate from the LCBO…so I can’t take ANY of the credit, but DO comment and tell me what you put in YOUR Hot Chocolate to get you through the winter (or jetlag, or the shopping embargo).