Hannah Drake

The Expat Diaries, Vol. 14

LifeHannah Drake4 Comments

It feels like it’s been about six months since my last Expat Diaries, not the usual two months. We’ve been busy in those two months, but so has everyone, right? It’s the busiest time of year for most people and having a trip back to the States didn’t necessarily slow anything down.

A lot of what we’ve been up to over the last two months, I’ve already covered on my blog (or have plans to cover soon), so today might be shorter than usual. You’ll have to forgive me.

Mainly, jet lag has been kicking my butt for the first time ever. I don’t think I’ve ever been this exhausted from travelling, no matter which way I was going. We thought it was great that we were able to sleep in later than 4:00AM when we first got to Colorado. We were just getting up between 6:00 and 7:00 for the day, rather than waking up in the middle of the night for a couple of hours. Eventually we adjusted and were able to sleep in to a usual holiday time.

Then, just as we were happily adjusted, we flew back to England at 11:59PM MST on the 28th. We were both able to get some sleep on the first flight to DC, which landed before 6:00AM EST. At the airport, I was able to sleep for a couple more hours, and a bit more comfortably, thanks to my Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mask. I didn’t intend to sleep on the second flight from DC to London, but I think we both ended up sleeping for most of it. When we landed in London just after 9:30PM, my body was definitely confused. We stopped for a late dinner on the way home and went to bed almost as soon as we got home.

Since then, I haven’t been able to comfortably get on a usual sleep schedule. Since waking up on the morning of the 30th at home, the only days I’ve been able to stay awake for a full day have been the days I’ve been at work. And even then it’s a struggle. The morning before I went back to work for a half day on the 2nd, I woke up at 1:00AM and dozed for a few hours until my alarm went off at 6:00. The next day, I was awake for probably about 6 hours in total. On Monday evening, I fell asleep in Mary Poppins Returns at the cinema! The struggle has been so, so real that I can hardly think about anything, let alone actually do anything.

So needless to say, 2019 has gotten off to a slow start. I’ve been nothing but a lurker on social media in recent weeks and I’ve been seeing everyone’s posts about how excited they are for the new year, how they’re setting their intentions for the year, resolving to be better than the last, purging their home of stuff they don’t want to take into the new year, etc. It’s been a little discouraging because I’ve spent 95% of the new year on my couch or in my bed.

But guess what. That’s fine. I got sick around Thanksgiving and ended up having a cold for over 2 weeks because I just didn’t have the time to rest. Our December was absolutely non-stop between trying to squeeze in everything we wanted to do in England before the 15th and squeeze in everything we wanted to do in Colorado during the two weeks we were there. A lot of things fell through the cracks. We didn’t get to see a lot of the people we wanted to. We barely had any nights at home to just sit by the tree and watch a Christmas movie. It was a truly great holiday season and I’m so grateful we got to be in Colorado, but it was also exhausting. It feels like now that everything has slowed down, my mind and my body are like woah, I wanna hang out here in this stillness for a while, please.

I’ll eventually get back on my feet. I’ll eventually watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo like everyone else and purge our house of all the junk we don’t want or need.


Can I just say, if your new year has been off to a slow start, don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s perfectly fine to not have spent a great deal of time reflecting on 2018 or to not share your intentions or your word of the year with everyone you know on social media. It really is okay. Give yourself a break if that’s what you need. Prioritise what’s important to you as we move into 2019 and try to get those things done at your own pace. And if you just need to leave 2018 behind and not look back, do that too!