- Anticipation--or, let's call it by its real name, anxiety--about getting ready crowding out other thoughts and writing: check.
- Getting up and/or getting to bed at ungodly hours so that you can make the plane: check.
- The huge wave of relief after your presentation is done and it goes well: check.
- Walking around a city and seeing a little bit of the sights: check.
Well, you all know the drill. But a long time ago I made some kind of implicit pact that the day after getting back from a conference would be a day, or at least a morning, of wild abandon rather than more work.
Here is what "wild abandon" looks like:
- Sleep in until natural waking time (5:30 a.m.).
- Watch Mad Men. Eat lots of breakfast.
- Find half-empty bag of Guittard milk chocolate chips and eat them all up. Yes, in the morning. What? Who says breakfast can't have dessert?
- Watch a Barbara Stanwyck movie.
- Watch more Mad Men.
- At noon, go into the study and start clearing out files for the next project.
- Go for a walk.
Now, this doesn't exactly measure up to a scene of wild debauchery, but it has so many elements of academic transgression--television in the morning! Chocolate!--that it did feel like a reward.
How do you reward yourself for doing things that are good for you but not exactly fun?