We have been back in the United States for a week, and we are … adjusting.
Our trip back was rather uneventful. Haneda airport was deserted. Only a few people were in the terminal. We spent a couple of hours in the Tiat lounge, and for much of the time we were the only people in the room.
Our international flight was similar to most. Everyone was wearing masks, but we still had meals, drinks, and a not-too-different experience. Perhaps because of the stress of the previous week, both my wife and I slept more than normal on an airplane, and the 12 hour flight passed quickly.
Our connection was in Detroit. Again, fewer people than normal and we cleared immigration quickly and without any issues. The lounge was a bit more crowded, but with some effort we maintained social distance. Rather surprisingly, most people were wearing masks. And all passengers on the domestic connection were wearing masks, with many seats unoccupied.
The past week has been a time of adjustment. Complicating this is my job schedule. I am still doing work for my company in Japan, and there are a series of meetings during the day in Japan that I need to attend virtually. My thought was we would still be on Japan time biologically, and so it would be relatively natural just to work at night and sleep during the day. Although this seemed logical at the time, in reality it has been very difficult. My body is trying to adjust to the day/night cycle in the US, and sleeping during the day is proving difficult. It is also disorienting trying to think about the time zone difference in reverse. All in all, not a pleasant experience.
Otherwise, there are ups and downs. We are readjusting to our home, which our daughter and son-in-law lived in during the 4-1/2 years we were away. They did a good job caring for the house (and our kitties) while we were gone. Now, we are again making the house our home. It will take some time to be comfortable again.
Of course, we have the stress and concern about the COVID-19 situation in the US. We are following the CDC recommendation to self-isolate for 2 weeks. Our daughter provided much food, so we’ve only had the need to order a small number of groceries, which could be picked up in the store parking lot with no direct contact with anyone. With a record number of COVID-19 cases in our area, we probably won’t be going out much for some time. It is a crisis that further compounds our adjustment here.
So, we enter our second week back, still working an upside-down schedule, and adjusting to our “new” home. We are thankful for remaining healthy, and hopefully our 14-day self-quarantine will pass without cause for concern. There are still feelings of great sadness and loss for the life we left in Japan. That will probably lessen as time goes on…and we continue to adjust to our “new” life back in America.