January 23, 2012


At times like these, I can see why bi-polar disorder "works" in an odd way.

Since November 15th, I've only had 19 dinners in my hometown without guests (almost all with E, which is awesome). In lieu of the 50 other peaceful dinners I could have had in my hometown, I've caught up with countless friends and family, and done some very rewarding things for my life and business.

Several of these alternate dinners were simply changed by the blessing of people I care about coming to us, either to stay in the guest bedroom or to share a meal.

But, there's also been much motion on my part: driving, flying, and physically making the effort to be elsewhere for the privilege of connecting with people I don't often see and/or doing things in person that make sense.

This weekend was a perfect example of the high-effort life I've been sustaining for the last 69 days.

Saturday AM, after a night of late work, I woke to pack, drive to Oakland, and run around Lake Merritt and Piedmont with a friend. We ate a delicious brunch, and then I drove to the Sacramento area to visit brother, niece, and mom.

First, I was delivering brother's new computer, thanks to E and Metamatt. He was so excited, it was great to see. We had a delicious sushi dinner to celebrate my niece's birthday. Finally, I arrived at my mom's where I caught up with my mom and D and then cleaned up work files 'til 2 AM.

Sunday, I was woken at 6:30 AM by my mom and D yelling at their dog. It's their house, and completely reasonable for them to continue in their normal daily existence. But it resulted in a shorter night of sleep than the already truncated one I'd expected.

I tried to snooze 'til 7:30 and then caffeinated myself with a latte so I could join my mom for her first 5K.

Like most of what I've done these last 69 days, I'm so glad I made the effort to be there and run with her. It was so special to see her realize she is capable of finishing 3.1 miles at a reasonably brisk pace. Many women of her generation just don't think of themselves as athletic or physically capable of things that "athletic people" do. It is wonderful to watch her perception of herself change, and inspiring to be reminded that we are free to change and grow, even in retirement (so why not now?).

I followed this one up with another brunch and great conversation with my step-dad, a drive to Oakland to join friends and E at an Oyster-pocalypse party (mmmm.... oysters), and the a drive home.

Every single event I fit in the 48 hours was fun and rewarding and I'm very glad I did them all.

But, after 69 days full of 48-72 hour stints like this one, I am excited about the consecutive 12 nights at home on my calendar starting tonight.

We can elevate ourselves to a ridiculously high level of physical and mental activity and interaction with others. I definitely do so at times like the holidays, birthdays, special events, with visitors who make the effort, or when there's an unexpected opportunity to catch up with long lost friends or family.

I'm always pleased I amplified my energy output for the benefits of these opportunities.

But, I'm also realistic that this style of living comes at a cost of the downtime and the easy slow existence of breathing, not rushing, and being present with myself in a regular, daily life.

I definitely need to force myself to take some downtime. I suspect, if I were bi-polar, this would be one of those periods when my brain chemistry switched from mania to depression.

I am so thankful not to have such extreme swings as to be bi-polar, but I'm also mindful that even the super-powered manic folks eventually crash. If they can't sustain it, I certainly can't.

So, I am excited to make a commitment to rest and rejuvenation before I ramp up again for my trip to Cambodia in February.

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