I’m at home for a few more hours before departing on a trip that involves Boston, Amsterdam, the Hague and Rome in five days, including two or three talks, several meetings and, I hope, some excellent food. While this trip takes me to the end of September, a month that’s featured an average of one public speech every five days, it begins phase two of autumnal insanity, a six week period in which I travel to and from Europe four times.
As I rapidly descend into madness, it’s reassuring to look back on my blog and discover that I’ve been here before. I started writing a story about the artist Jenny Holzer and how she managed to miss the entirety of autumn in the Berkshires and realized that I’d told the story here before, a year ago, as I wrestled with a crazy schedule last fall. Turning to my colleagues is reassuring as well: danah appear to be embarking on a conference season that’s even more action-packed than mine, with 13 talks in 12 cities in three countries. She, wisely, is announcing a period of hibernation after this speaking binge to finish her dissertation. That notion makes me want to enter a PhD program just so I could have an excuse to stop travelling for a bit.
I realize posts like this one generate no sympathy whatsoever. I’m incredibly lucky to have an employer that seems equally happy to see me in the office or read my blog from the road, and an unbelievably supportive, long-suffering spouse who not only tolerates my long absences, but encourages me to take advantage of the opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to stumble into. I write this in part as explanation for why I haven’t blogged some of the stories I’d love to report and written about others only cursorily. And as a reminder for myself, because as much as I’d like to change, there’s a good chance that I’ll be feeling this crazed again some point in the future and be grateful for the reminder that I’ve felt this way before and survived.