Monday, October 13, 2008

My Big Week

This is probably the only work that I’m going to do today.

Last week was probably the biggest week of the year for me, both professionally and personally. I attended the most important annual conference of my industry, I presented two lectures (and was paid well for the effort), my wife came with me for the first time and I tried to do it all without St. Johns Wort.

This was primarily a packing decision and I’m really not sure why I did it. There were other concerns such as being able to take my thrice daily dose without having to answer questions from my colleagues and being overly cautious about airport security but I think that perhaps I just wanted to see if I could pull it off.

Conferences like this one mean that you get to interact with others who uniquely understand your professional worries and joys. It’s always a high and I look forward to this one all year long. Plus just the vacationy aspect of the event, even though one is working the whole time, makes it an upbeat thing. Perhaps I thought that I’d try coasting on this energy.

Now, I was worried about the lecture as you know from previous posts. (I survived, by the way. My wife was very complimentary, which she never is so falsely, and a handful of the audience came up to further discuss the topic both hours so I guess I pulled it off. There was also discussion with the organizers afterwards of my returning next year. So I suppose we should put this in the professional successes column.) But it was the first thing of the week and, again, I thought that I could coast on my relief that it was over and leave SJW out of my life for at least one week.

We left on Tuesday. By noon on Friday I was curled up in a ball in my hotel room bed full of self castigation and doubt. I told everyone that it was a dodgy breakfast burrito that I’d had at a local diner.

I slept for a few hours that day, skipping some of the best seminars of the week, before I was able to roust myself in time to catch the last event of the day. There were meetings on Saturday, too, but I was able to make those.

Overall, the week was good. I mostly enjoyed myself and I feel recharged professionally. I’m taking today to decompress but I learned an important lesson. St. John’s Wort works for me but I have to stay on it or risk a crash. I’m not sure if the pressures and eustress of the week got to me or just the fact that I’d laid the herb aside caused me to plummet but either way I’m convinced that it wouldn’t have happened had I just packed it.

Live and learn!


Anonymous said...

Good news--I'm happy to hear that your presentations went well and that people responded positively. I'm so sorry to hear about your distress without SJW (next time, just throw it in your suitcase, deciding day to day whether to dose or not). Enjoy your day. K

Anonymous said...

Hi. I just found your blog and read it backwards!

I recently had a similar experience to the one you and your wife had, where you first thought that maybe all this sad wasn't normal. After spending the day in bed and then only coming out to yell at my boyfriend for something that didn't even make sense, I broke down crying. He asked if I always felt like this. Of course, I said. That's normal. He said it wasn't.

So I am now, like you were, just starting to wonder what life is like for "everyone else" and I'm wondering if that might be available for me, and how.

Thank you for your blog, because it makes me feel less alone.

The Pursuit of Happiness said...

Thanks for your kind words, Jaynie. Good luck in your journey! Let us know how things go for you.

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