I’m in San Diego right now for a little over two weeks. I am trying to reestablish old routines, but it is really so disorienting at this point. This is my fourth stop back in San Diego since I began MYOLT (My Year of Living Travelly), and each time it feels a little less like a homecoming and a little more like a visit. Don’t get me wrong—I love the visits! I just am starting to feel as if the real me is just marking time before the next adventure.
I have to admit, I am tired. I see this limp blonde in the mirror and wonder who she is. There’s less spring in my step ( no not cruise weight—my clothes still fit) and less of a sense of engagement with everything—people, activities, events. I don’t know what that is about, since I am still loving the adventure and so tapped in to living on ships.
Maybe it’s because I don’t give myself any down time. I have been home less than a week and I have already done two lectures for later this spring. I am looking at something I thought was so far from possible I couldn’t even imagine it: being fully prepared for my five-month stint in Asia before I leave for Singapore on December 3. I thought I could have as many as ten destination lectures to do while I was on ships and between assignments, staying just ahead of having to give them, but I have driven myself pretty mercilessly, and I now have only three to go. I can finish all three if I stick to this pace until I leave.
Or I could just breathe, and remind myself that a little work on the ship isn’t so bad…. except it is. I really don’t want to concentrate. My eyes don’t want to read. My fingers don’t want to type. My brain just doesn’t want to figure out a slide show. I want to do things like team trivia and putting on the carpet. I want to work the daily NYT crossword puzzle. I want to take delicious naps. I want to have a glass of wine with lunch without worrying about it making me sleepy and cutting into time I need to work. I want to listen to my audiobook by the pool. I want to go to the gym ( well, not really, but I need to). I want to do girly stuff like take time getting ready for dinner. Between cruises I want to be fully where I am instead of dividing my consciousness between the place I am and the place I am researching,
I can’t think of anything more wonderful than to go off with nothing hanging over my head except revisions (constant, even for old lectures) and practice.
It’s worth it to push myself so hard. But I do worry a little that I am too unkind to myself with demands to work, work, work. When I was compulsively writing novels I had to make a deal with myself to “waste” one hour a day. It was hard. That’s just who I am. My biggest worry is that when I stop I won’t know what to do. I guess I will just have to wait to see what relaxing feels like. I bet it’s fun!