Saturday, January 6, 2018

Right Now in Sweden: Best Laid Plans

I decided that once I got back from Canada, this would be my return to glory. After a stutter step November/December, hindered a bit by injury and darkness induced "meh" approaches to most things in my life other than work, I would find Productive Me, regain my motivation to do All the Things Nonstop, and hit January 2018 running. Sleeping well, eating well, saving as well as one can when a traveling problem is involved that requires a lot more money in Scandinavia than in SE Asia- it was all going to come together. I just had to take a car ride, two planes, two trains, and get through 30+ hours of sleeplessness and a 6 hour time difference to jump right back in with both feet. I got home on January 2nd, and truly believed I would be a paragon of efficiency on January 3rd (if you want the real lolz, consider that I thought I would unpack, clean, and go grocery shopping on said January 2nd after no sleep for more than a day, having just jogged in place behind my airline seat every hour on the hour for all 8 combined flight hours). If you have no idea why I would be jogging on an airplane across the Atlantic, read here. I'll wait.

So, of course, I got home and spent a few days in a quicksand of uncooperative jet lag, which, by virtue of having never traveled home during the school year and on a short break, I had naively thought I "had never really had". Um, no. When you leisurely backpack your itinerant ass to America every other summer break by traveling across the globe (literally across the surface of it, usually) languidly peeling hours back layer by unnoticeable layer, and then you get to your final destination and have 5 weeks to "adjust to a schedule" that consists of staying up late and partying with friends and family, sure, jet lag isn't a thing. And, when those weeks of summer socializing wind down and you come back to whatever country is hosting you via a series of spaced out flights dropped neatly into various time zones for little adjustment periods of sightseeing, and then end up with a glorious tail end of vacation to slide you into some obliging inset days in August at the beginning of the school year, you REALLY "don't really ever get jet lag".

I suppose one good thing about jet lag is that I was awake during the night, with no distractions to keep me from being productive, and making plans, and setting some goals for this year. Anyone care to guess how I chose to spend my jetlagged insomnia? In the spirit of new beginnings, was I making budgets? Culling my things to give away? Writing goals? Unpacking?

Nah, mostly I just slithered through internet rabbit holes for about 3 days. Last night I finally hit my limit and found enough disgust to at least have the decency to read a book when I was awake until almost 4 a.m. What finally snapped me out of it and made me do what I should have been doing all along, which is reading a damn book? I had been inexplicably watching marathons of 2-5 minute clips of the Duggar family on YouTube. This was after spending an hour reading old blog posts (when I could have at least been writing a new one), and before I found the search function on Instagram and realized I could kill time there just as easily as anywhere else. Did you know there is an entire world of accounts devoted to skin removal progress pics following massive weight loss? And of course, okay, yes, one or two was interesting and inspirational- but once I had scrolled through five, and by scrolled through I mean I made it back to their first post, I was just being ridiculous. This was better than what I did the night before, I guess, when I decided to teach myself, at 1 a.m., how to use an eyebrow pencil I bought on a whim when a drugstore employee working her way through college drew better eyebrows on me than I was born with. I saw God a little bit in the magic, but it might have been her highlighter blinding me. Whatever the reason, I bought brow things to bring back to Sweden as a result, and I fell asleep in my tentatively drawn new eyebrows after the sun rose, before sleeping until 1 p.m. and getting out of bed at 3 p.m. The brows, in case you were wondering, were still in place.

But back to last night. Apparently this was my approach to getting back into a more productive swing of thing- watching outdated videos of religious zealots court their way into early marriages, making appraising/approving facial expressions to no one but my phone screen as I viewed the nearly invisible stitches that run along the outline of an entire human body after it is sewn back together where 15 pounds of loose flesh used to be, and drawing fake hair on my face above my real hair.

Oh, wait, I also wrote a blog post about how I didn't want to write a blog post, optimistically referenced going to bed at midnight (clearly that didn't happen) and fell asleep with that book on my chest around 4 a.m. I woke up to an even more optimistic alarm at 7 a.m., felt like I might actually die of exhaustion like those medical interns you hear about, and let myself sleep in until 9:00 a.m.

After 5 hours of broken sleep, littered with weird Duggar references I still can't categorize as dreams or nightmares, I think I am finally, FINALLY, back in Sweden, in terms of my body understanding I am here. My mind is still lagging a bit, and I have more than a small amount of trepidation about rolling into work bright and early Monday morning.

I suppose one positive of losing 3 days to a stupor of sleeplessness and exhaustion fueled internet dickery is that it has led me to a good old fashioned stream of consciousness blog- and this leads us, dear reader, to my having posted two days in a row, for the first time in years. I mean, both of these posts are trash but I'm rusty, just give me time.

For now, I am going to eat another chunk of grocery store kladdkaka and write 2018 goals about health.

Picture of kladdkaka for reference:

If you want to make kladdkaka at home, try my easy recipe: take a box of Duncan Hines brownies, and instead of baking it, just broil the top so it's chewy and crispy and everything else is raw and gooey. Start 2018 with a taste of Sweden!

I can't find a picture of it the way I eat it, which is to plop it in a (large) bowl and pour room temperature coconut milk over it. It pairs nicely with the endearing clip of the Duggars Do Asia. Serve in bed. I didn't mention that part until now, but yes, I was also eating cake in bed. 

Come on 2018!


  1. Ha! Hilarious. Where in Canada were you? And why haven't you written again since?

  2. Oh my god, I have JUST NOW SEEN THIS. I have been so swamped with work that I haven't written in months. I logged in today to try and change that. Good to see you months later :)