The hardest part of any holiday for me is the socializing. I enjoy spending time with our friends, neighbors and family. It’s just such a high cost activity.
The twinge of jealousy that I feel towards the extroverted and able body is real. I don’t necessarily want to change who I am. I’ve come to terms with my body’s limits and my own preferences. But I sure wish I could turn myself into a high energy extrovert without any health issues when I need it.
I feel drained from the short round of social interactions I had over the past few days even though I enjoyed every minute of it. I just see it in my biometrics.
My heart rate variability dipped into the teens. I got blinking reds on on stress, energy and health on my Welltory monitor. Whoop is recording high strain scores despite me doing little but sitting and talking. I have been sleeping 9 to 10 hours a night for over a week.
I suppose acceleration is tiring. But oh how I long to not have the normal pleasures of life be so damaging. Because I am going to chose my passions over socializing. It’s much easier to justify my work and spending my energy on my portfolio of startups. Advocating for causes close to my heart. If I have a limited budget I rarely chose to spend on the pleasures of company or socializing.
This year has had a number of absolutely crazy weekends where it’s felt as if the entire world was having the rules written overnight. Seemingly unrelated bits of the world will flare into supernova attention grabbers.
The fact that we can participate in the narratives as they emerge on social media means that every type of influence actor does just that. And it’s exhausting even as it’s occasionally a fun interactive game.
Today I found myself with a poor Whoop recovery and more physiological strain that is ideal. You can see it in my awful heart rate variability. Nevertheless I tried to stick to good routines, possibly to my detriment.
You can see my Welltory data after I went for a forty minute walk. My HRV tanked and I went into a migraine pattern. Thankfully Imitrax, meditation, and a short non sleep deep relaxation exercise got me stabilized in about two hours.
I’m throwing something up here as I am fairly certain I’ll be out for the rest of the day. I have thrown back an entire pharmacy in an attempt to remedy a barrage of symptoms that are so intense I can barely process.
I thought I had a cold or potentially some kind of flu based on my initial symptoms like heightened respiratory rates, congestion and pain in my muscles. But as the day progresses I’m not so sure. The mucus is clear and was easily improved by a Mucinex and cortisone nasal spray. The remaining symptoms of lowered body temperature (which feels feverish) a migraine, and tight muscles are now much more acute. I guess the cold medicine I took was a waste of liver stress.
It’s messy and conflicting and neither myself, my husband, my doctor nor the artificial intelligence chats have managed a differential diagnosis.
My hope is that with the sheer variety of drugs that we have thrown at this that I’ll be passed out for the foreseeable future. Maybe a full twenty four hours of sleep can fix this. Hopefully you will see me cheerful tomorrow.
For the last three days I’ve been experiencing a significant dip in energy and function in the later afternoon around 4pm.
Not only am I fatigued, but I seem to have some sort of either allergic response or potentially common cold symptoms. It’s a little unclear as I don’t have consistent symptoms nor do I have a fever.
Some of it is probably jet lag as I returned home to Montana after a month in Europe over the weekend. I haven’t quite recovered my sleep deficit as I am pushing very hard on my workload as well.
I tried doing a bit of polyphasic sleeping today to see if it might help abate the intensity of the dip. The idea behind polyphasic sleep is to get your required 7-8 hours not in one monophasic chunk at night but across your own natural energetic ebbs and flows.
I did a packed morning of work and meetings and then slept between the hours of 3-5pm. I do feel better having been asleep during the dip but I could feel the symptoms rising while in the light sleep mode. I wasn’t able to fall into deep or REM sleep.
Whatever is happening I clearly need more rest. My attempts at diagnosis of any other symptoms and their proximal causes are unlikely to matter if I’m not getting adequate rest. In which case, I’ll try to sleep more at night and add in some naps till it passes.
I’m extremely frustrated right now. I didn’t get much sleep last night. I won’t get into the details, but it’s mostly because I was overstimulated by a very long workday after what was a very productive week.
I didn’t think it would matter if I was a little fucked up today from overexertion yesterday as I didn’t have any major obligations.
Except I got invited to mid-morning to something tonight. I wasn’t obligated to go but really wanted to do so as the guest of honor may end up having a significant impact on my life. And I’ve had an interest in it which I’d expressed months ago.
Now I had strong interest in attending as it won’t be a repeatable opportunity. So I wanted to push myself to go. I did my best through the afternoon to rest and prepare myself. But ultimately my body just couldn’t do it.
I cascaded into a migraine from the smell of my husband’s cologne. All my efforts to try to be restorative with the few hours of my afternoon were gone through a single small instance of environmental stressor. An obvious sign that I shouldn’t be going anywhere if something small could set off symptoms.
Now I’d like to say that I could have made it if I’d slept more. Maybe if I’d not worked so many hours yesterday. But I feel good about the things I prioritized yesterday.
But I am so fucking angry that I couldn’t have been given a little bit more notice as I would have found a way to make it. Literally even one day would have been enough so I could prioritize sleep.
It’s obviously no one’s fault. I’m simply furious that in an effort to budget my energy and physical capacity for what was my priority yesterday, I couldn’t find any remaining capacity today.
I guess the lesson is that if you want me to show up please let me know at least twenty four hours in advance. Or even just the night before.
Maybe this is my second wind finally kicking in but I cannot wait to start my week tomorrow.
I am pleased that this is how I feel at 5pm Mountain Time. I woke up at 3am thanks to my comical jet lag from having been on GMT +8 for several weeks. I don’t recommend flying a transcontinental flight the day before daylight savings incidentally. I proceeded to feel like absolute shit all day.
But as the Sunday scaries kick in for the rest of the timeline, I am absolutely pumped for my work week. My workload is just super exciting.
The Network State conference left me pumped. The mutuals I spent time with in Amsterdam for other engagements also got me pumped. A founder I’ve been working with for almost a year is hitting his first visible traction moment and I am pumped to strategize with him. Another builder friend is interested in pursuing some funding and asked me to weigh in. The communications work I do for founders has led me to a particularly interesting challenge I want to help them solve.
I am just overall really excited for my work. I can only hope my body is up for it. I will have to carefully manage rest and recovery as this workload is worth the annoyance of treating my body with utmost care.
The real challenge wasn’t in my sights yet. I did a layover in Dulles before heading to Chicago O’Hare for a final direct to Bozeman Montana. When I got to O’Hare, I had all the bags for a five week trip in Europe on my person.
I attempted to walk to the airport shuttle area only to get lost inside a parking garage. Finally I made it into what looked like a side alley for the shuttles and busses. And proceeded to wait for an hour for the Hyatt bus. Sunk cost fallacy caught up with me fast as I didn’t want you to lug my bags back to find a taxi half a mile away. I was already at 11000 steps, exhausted and half mad from 15 hours of transit.
I was in my own 9th circle. Middle management road warriors of a certain age fighting for an airport shuttle to a Hyatt Regency 30 minutes late. One lady blamed the extra traffic on “the immigrants” while a regional sales director discussed selling mortgage products to Wells Fargo wealth managers during the run up to the global financial crisis.
The woman who sold mortgage products to wealth manager began discussing her “hot mess labradoodle named Karma” and I swear this is not a joke.
She told her companion you can tell things are bad as her trip to Big Sky is too expensive this year. That I don’t lose it on her in that moment is an act of self control.
The delay at the shuttle was so long the line ended up being 50 deep to actually check in at the vast conference hotel.
And what a display of American exceptionalism. Not only was there a pharma conference (that’s where the mortgage product woman was headed as sales is sales) but there was also a regional dance cheer competition for tween girls and a field hockey & lacrosse competition for boys.
The demographics of this odd mix did explain why there are dozens of “not yet rich enough for ozempic but rich enough for Little Miss Subshine’s glitter and a stay at the Hyatt.” White obese stage mothers who spend too much at Ulta were heavily represented. Blessedly the lacrosse and field hockey boys were just noisy.
My flight touched down at 7pm. It’s now 9pm and I am finally checked into my room. I pulled the disability card with my ankylosis & begged a guy to get me a keycard. Tried to tip him $40. He wouldn’t take it. Compromised as I insisted on $20.
We discussed the mortgage products sales lady & how he didnt think his generation would ever own a home. He was a zoomer. He’s probably right.
As I finally gave up on the day, laying in bed I can hear two kids kid above me practicing catching and tossing with their lacrosse sticks Thwack and release. Over & over. Thankfully I had ear plugs. Only one three hour flight left to get me home to Montana.
When I travel I do my best to maintain a steady routine for my health. I find it much easier to manage stressors to my physical body, and my autonomic nervous system, if I get adequate sleep, nutrition, and restorative activities.
I’m the sort of person who travels with an organizer of supplements & vitamins, multiple biomarker trackers (my Apple Watch & Whoop) and helpful devices (Apollo Neuro Band, percussion massager, noise canceling headphones) to keep myself “in the green” no matter how much stress I throw at myself.
And I put myself under some fairly significant strain over the last week as I traveled by boat and airplane through four countries in four days. As you can see from my Whoop data traveling induces more strain than rest days or work days.
I was careful today to rest after the conference so I’d be able to make use of the remainder of my time in Amsterdam. And my biomarkers seem to agree. My Welltory saw my heart rate variability fully in the green this afternoon.
I am in a pocket of personal heaven that I did not know existed until just now. I’m on the Tallinnk ferry to Helsinki. It’s just before sunset and briskly cold. The wind is whipping small white caps as we exit the bay.
I had not expected the serene calm that overtook me. The many shades of grey and blue where the sea meets the horizon’s soothe my autonomic nervous system. Watching the small waves crest as we roll ever so gently sends me into parasympathetic. I feel cozy.
I decided at the last moment to go to Helsinki for a day. I wanted to visit for my birthday but didn’t feel well enough. Since actions define who you are, I booked myself a business lounge ticket on Tallinnk ferry. It’s fifty miles and about two hours.
I have a lounge chair at the very front of the ferry. It’s as large as a cruise ship and feels as smooth. It’s clearly a premium experience. I paid 60 euro for the privilege and was rewarded with an excellent dinner of poached trout and chocolate mouse. I have a lingonberry juice in a proper glass.
We are passing other ferries with some regularity. There are routes to every imaginable Nordic destination. There is even a ferry to St. Petersburg. Google maps lists out the routes as I peel out of Tallinn Bay. Twitter mutuals note that the Nordic ferry system is the envy of the world. And I can see why. What a pleasurable way to travel.
I feel lulled into a peace I hadn’t considered possible with travel. My Bose headphones are playing Endel’s AI generated relaxation music. I have my Apollo Neuro set to relax. And I have an hour or so to contemplate the beauty of the ocean. If you ever find yourself with the opportunity to take one of these ferries do it.
I felt like I was on fire. Itchy skin, weeping eyes, coughing and wheezing, a sympathetic nervous system run amok. I was on my second histamine reaction in less than two weeks.
I have had two days of intense emotional work. One tragic aspect of a daily chronicle that’s public is dancing around some of the more private aspects of one’s life while still managing to write. I’ve been doing “a look ahead” exercise for the next decade with my family. Our goals and our challenges and our structures were all on the table. What do we want and how will we pursue it and what stands in our way?
So I found myself needed to sooth the systems. Reactivity is a choice. I wanted to feel my emotions but I’m less convinced I need to feel my hives.
So I downed 50mg of Benadryl, a couple other generic anti-histamines, a white girl downer, and I plugged myself into noise canceling headphones and a face mask. I did a few rounds of Non Sleep Deep Relaxation nervous system exercises. And slowly I was able to subdue reactions. I slipped into real sleep.
I feel better for it. But I also know I need more restorative time. Remaining subdued would be valuable.