Wednesday night, my first night here in Florida, I got somewhere around four and a half hours of sleep. That may or may not have been the reason that I spent most of yesterday out of sync with conversations.
At lunch, there were three times when someone asked me a question specifically to get me involved in the conversation, which I normally really appreciate. And one of those times I gave a semi-irrelevant answer, and the other two I said “Um” and paused long enough that someone else jumped in and answered the question and the conversation flowed on around me. They were interesting people saying interesting things, I just didn't seem to be able to match gears.
Much the same thing happened at dinner—I was sitting with some of the people I was most interested in talking with, but I barely said a word the whole time. They were mostly talking about academia, but I know plenty of academics, and could probably have contributed anecdotes if my mind hadn't been kind of vaguely blank. It was pleasant and interesting, I just wasn't really actively involved.
None of that is a problem, but it all contributed to my feeling a little socially overloaded, and pretty tired by the end of the day. So last night, I went to bed around 11 p.m.—which is to say 8:00 California time—and woke up around 4:30 a.m., or 1:30 California time, a time of night when I'm often still awake from the day before.
The main effect I've noticed so far of the anti-anxiety medication I'm trying is that instead of my usual slow drowsy drift out of sleep, I've been waking up fairly suddenly and thoroughly, usually after not enough sleep. It's only been a week, though, so I'm gonna give it a little longer before making any changes. It may not have been the wisest idea to start this experiment a week before heading three time zones east.
Anyway, this morning I read for a while. Was still wide awake around 7, when Mary Anne headed off to breakfast. I considered getting up and joining her, but I was comfy and warm in bed, and decided that the need for social downtime outweighed the desire to be out having exciting conversations with cool people. I started reading Google News, and fairly quickly fell back to sleep. Not sure how much more sleep I got, but I think it was on the order of a couple hours. So now I'm feeling reasonably well-rested and nearly ready to start my day, and it's only noon! I missed a reading I was interested in, but I think the sleep was probably worth it.
. . . I feel like the above may make it sound like I'm not enjoying ICFA. I'm mostly liking it so far; just a little out of sync.
Not sure what I'm going to do today. I hear that the traditional activity for non-academics here is to sit by the pool; that sounds like a pretty good plan to me. But I haven't looked at the afternoon's programming yet; I may well find something I want to attend.