Reaching the end, I’m realising how tired I am. In comes in a few forms:
1. Ineffective sleep. Last year I thought it was bad with a 14-hour overnight from DC to Atlanta and the 32-hour marathon from Austin to LA. So of course I’ve pushed it even further this time. I’ve spent 7 of the past 25 nights sleeping in a coach seat (I think… my counting abilities may be suffering) – yeah, none of the journeys I’ve done have come without an overnight. That’s after an 11-hour flight during which I only got an hour or two. The rest of the time I’ve had lovely comfy beds to sleep in, but sleeping sitting up or even lying down across two seats almost 1 night in 3 is taking it’s toll.
2. Doing too much. I’ve found find it really hard to say no to stuff. That’s because I’m giving up control and asking for help, right? Well yes giving up control, but I realise that I have to ask for help around getting proper rest. That might mean having to say no to more stuff in the interests of self-care. On the other hand, I can’t imagine anything that I’ve said yes to that I’d rather have had a couple of hours napping over. And it’s not just other people asking me. I spent way too much time walking around Chicago the other day, completely of my own accord. I was just so wrapped up in being somewhere new and not having anyone around that I ended up walking quite a few miles. My legs ache. It’s good to have the exercise when the rest of the time I’m sitting down, but it didn’t do much for my energy levels.
3. Food. I’ve had fantastic, delicious and nutritious meals courtesy of my hosts and friends along the way. But I don’t normally eat in restaurants this often and I’m normally quite strict about what I eat and when. And although I’ve been careful, I have eaten much more bread, cheese and eggs than I would do normally, it’s difficult to get enough vegetables or salad except when I’ve stocked up at supermarkets and sneaky bits of sugar have a way of creeping into everything. I could have done more to make sure I had what I needed for breakfast every day – I always make it a priority at home, but I find it hard to insist on what I need when people are already being so kind.
4. Time Changes. I’m not sure about this one, but I think it adds to my tiredness that my body is a little confused about what time it is. I do always have half an eye on what time it is in the UK. I’ve also been through all the time zones here in the last three weeks as well as the Daylight Savings Change a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad that I’ll only have a 5 hour difference to deal with when I get back rather than the PDT/BST that I faced last year.
5. Just Travelling. It’s tiring in itself isn’t it? I always forget this. Just the massive stimulation of going somewhere new ever day. Meeting new people or seeing old friends that I haven’t talked to before. Not really knowing where you’re sleeping tonight or what you’ll be doing tomorrow. Stimulating, exciting, unmissable and exhausting.