Already feels like I’ve been here a month

These days are crazy. I’m already triaging my schedule and not going to the readings and talks that don’t interest me. But I still like to make all three meals so that I can talk to people and the partying here usually goes on until at least 1 AM (and frequently later). The paradox of any action to improve your health is that it makes possible a whole new range of risky behavior. For instance, quitting smoking could allow a person to engage in more strenuous exercise (since their lung capacity is no longer a limiting factor) that taxes their heart and muscles in new ways. In my case, sobriety makes it much more feasible to stay up until 4 AM, then wake up at 8 and go to breakfast and try to make a full day of events. Which is great. But it also means that I feel less good than I might if I hadn’t developed this new expectation (that I’ll feel fine in the morning, since I’m not drinking). That is, unfortunately, not the case. Sleep deprivation and dehydration do take their toll on a person.

Had our first workshop meeting yesterday. I hadn’t realized how stressed I was about it. Normally, I find it pleasant to go to a workshop where I am not one of the ones being workshopped. But the new environment was, apparently, a bit psychically taxing for me. The moment the workshop ended, I felt a huge sense of relief. Since we only meet for workshop every other day, I’m pretty free today.

My novel excerpt is being workshopped in tomorrow’s session! I already had my one-on-one meeting with Tim O’Brien, though, so I know pretty much what’s going to happen during the workshop (I think?). However, who knows? The meeting was fine. It went about as well as I could have expected. Tim O’Brien is an excellent (and extremely dedicated) teacher.

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