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Blogging has been sidelined by deadlines lately. I’ve been working on wrapping up a year-long project (that shouldn’t have taken that long by any means) and writing up the initial results of a survey from last month. Once I get out from under those swords hanging over my head, I have to write two talks to give next week, and another one for the following week. Plus a 5-minute lightning update report for the day after that. And I’ll have to run a 3-day working session.

It’s a lot of pressure, heading into two solid weeks of travel. Writing talks too close to the presentation date is a regretfully common practice, and one that I occasionally fall victim to. At least I’ve outlined the first two talks…

Toward the end of last month, I started seeing some manic symptoms. As soon as I noticed the first few of them, I started paying a lot more attention to what was going on. It’s the same pattern I’ve seen before – can’t sleep for a few nights, which triggers inexplicable high energy, throws ambition into overdrive, and propagates the fervent belief that I can do ALL THE THINGS. RIGHT NOW. And for awhile, I can and do.

As I started noticing a few of those typical behaviors, this time I tried to harness that energy and drive to get the important stuff done. The work that was dragging behind for ages is nearly caught up, and all that writing that I just couldn’t even face comes so easily that I berate myself for procrastinating on it for so long. The reality is, however, that I probably couldn’t have made the words flow that readily at other times. I’m trying to accept that I will probably always have this “bursty” mood-dependent productivity cycle, but as long as I can keep things within a reasonable range, that’s OK.

So I’ve been plowing through the work day productively for most of the last couple of weeks. And then paying for it with that weird wakeful exhaustion where you know your body is tired but your brain is wired, wired, wired. Mr. Chickadee falls asleep on the couch, while I watch another episode. When my general mood and energy levels are a little high (but not Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds high) it just takes so much longer to get my mind to shut down enough for sleep that bedtime keeps getting pushed later and later despite an unchanging 6 AM alarm. It’s a catch-22.

Heading into 2 weeks of travel followed by another trip, I probably won’t be blogging a whole lot for the rest of this month. I’ll try to keep up a bit, and will probably stay hypomanic with the time zone shifts and overstimulation, but that’s pretty much the way it goes for me when I’m on the road. At least I’m avoiding the bar these days and heading outside instead. The mountains and deserts will be calling my name, and who am I to ignore their majesty?

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