Adapting to “Normal”

You could call this a precursor to the much-anticipated “In Search of Blue Water: Part 2.”  I’m sure my reflections on sailing the coastal waters of Catalina/Santa Barbara Islands will be just as potent, if not more introspective.  This post is my warm-up.  The last weeks re-acclimating to the U.S., to another time zone, to “standard” food, entertainment, and everyday trials have been interestingly frustrating.  No thanks to, but not exclusively because of, the Sandman.

I’ve picked up an unfortunate and loyal affliction since returning from Germany  three weeks ago.  It seems my internal clock is now set to “inconvenient,” if that’s such a setting.

I wake up at 1 or 2 in the morning without cause, and again at 4…a half an hour before my first alarm tells me to be alert and awake.

The result is exhaustion.

Last week signaled the station fundraiser, which required me to arrive at 3a…that hasn’t helped me readjust to a comfortable sleep pattern either.  In theory it should be so difficult to readjust to “normal” time.  It only took me two or three days to function at 9 hours ahead of “home.”

Other things are difficult to digest.  I had forgotten how crazy Arizona drivers are–their continued weaving, speeding, aggression, stupidity, amaze me.

I had forgotten how self-focused many are in this area.  Holding a door open, or saying ‘Excuse me’ seem to be foreign to many.  Perhaps these were the way things always were here, but I’m now seeing them from an outsider’s perspective.

Introspecting

I’m not sure what existential problems I might solve in my in-between stage, but I feel like something’s coming.

I spent so much energy trying to adjust to a foreign culture, in language, food, action, and life.  And like a tightened slingshot I’ve sprung back to center-space, like my band had never been primed.

It’s an odd problem: how does an American remain an effective observer and commentator of his/her land, when that land has become like a foreign nation?

Some could argue the insights gained by this new ‘outsider’ perspective will yield much greater benefits.  Some could argue a BBQ, country music, and a swift read of the Constitution should clear up any fogginess.

I’m intrigued by my post-Germany attitudes, and the place my mind is, and will go.  I’m intrigued to see how this all manifests itself in my subsequent reporting.

But most immediately, we’ll see how it all affects my reflections on Santa Barbara Island–the day I conquered the Sea Lions.  “In Search of Blue Water: Part 2″…to come.

UPDATE: In Search of Blue Water: Part 2

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