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I’m in lovely Santa Fe, New Mexico, and heading to Portland, Oregon on Friday. There’s great food with copious green chilis, even better company, an idyllic setting, and my room is fantastic. The biggest drawback of this luxurious lodge is the lack of cell signal. I haven’t talked to Mr. Chickadee since he dropped me off at the airport. :(

All the triggers for my usual travel-induced hypomania are present. I snoozed through most of my two flights here – Dramamine knocks me out and makes me woozy, but I can’t do without it – so I was exceptionally perky all evening despite the 2-hour time change. I had only a scant half glass of wine (evidence of moderation!) but was up way too late. After about 4 hours of sleep I was up extra early to go birding, because dawn is when birds are most active, and I was rewarded with 7 new species for my life list.

Then I powered up for a very full day. It’s been lovely to catch up with friends as well as meet new people. Before dinner I had about 2 glasses of wine, and after dinner I went to an informal party where I consumed only cranberry juice. This time last year, I would have had in the neighborhood of 6-8 drinks (or more), so this is a substantial improvement. Then I left quite early for me – about 10 PM – and took a bit of walkabout on the way back to my room.

But that’s where my good behavior fell apart. I’m back to my usual routine of being up too late for no good reason. I probably won’t get more than 4 hours of sleep tonight. Tomorrow will be equally long but less social since most of the contingent is departing.

Part of me is paranoid – am I going to get all crazy and overly talkative and stop sleeping altogether and bounce off the walls with unlimited energy? So far, it looks like the answer is no, but with another few days of travel ahead, all bets are off. Part of me doesn’t care anyway, conveniently ignoring the inevitable post-hypomania crash. The combined stimulus of travel, sunshine, and socializing makes it hard to come down enough to sleep. It typically takes 3 hours for me to unwind after intense social interaction, but leaving company at 9 is absurd in this situation. I’m just plain unwilling to give up the rare opportunity to enjoy the company of some wonderful colleagues and friends.

So here I am, 1:30 AM local time, 3:30 AM for my body clock, anticipating only 4 hours of sleep. I’m not really sleepy, but I’m going to take a double-dose of melatonin and spread out in my king-sized bed with my White Noise app playing a mix of rain on a tent, frogs calling, and crickets singing, so I can drift away to the relaxing sounds of camping.

And then I’ll get back up and do it all over again

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