Three weeks ago, I was all excited and making plans to be super prepared for my talk. I was eating better, sleeping almost enough, drinking more water, and working out. I was super busy in lab that week, but I was planning not to be too busy after Thanksgiving.
But then that weekend, Tiny (one of our chinchillas) died :( Chinchillas have a life expectancy of over 10 years, but of course that's not always what happens, as with any animal sometimes they are taken from us too soon. Tiny was only 3.
Aside from being very, very sad, I was very worried about Bug, our other chinchilla. When we brought Tiny home, we read a whole bunch about bringing a second chinchilla in, and along the way read about what happens when one dies before the other. Apparently you really have to watch out if they go into mourning, because they are prone to starving themselves to death. As you can imagine, we didn't want this to happen to Bug!
We went out to the pet store where we got Tiny and Bug, but they only had 1 male chinchilla, and we don't want any chinchilla babies!
Fortunately, although Bug was VERY confused at first, she didn't seem to be that upset by the loss of Tiny. I'm not sure if it helped that we had her alone for a while before we brought Tiny home, or if it helps that they were only together for about 3 years (vs. a whole lifetime), but she continued to eat, drink, and maintained her weight (though she does NOT appreciate being forced to hold still enough to get weighed!)
That was the start of the downward spiral. I didn't eat well that weekend, I didn't sleep, I didn't work out, and I didn't do more work than the absolute minimum. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I was so tired and stressed that I cried when my rolls didn't turn out perfectly.
Since Thanksgiving, I've been trying to dig myself back out of this hole. I haven't been sleeping enough or working out everyday, but I've been eating really well and drinking a lot of water, so if I can manage to get some sleep this week I should be in pretty good health when I get to the conference.
And all is not lost on the work front, I gave a talk I felt really good about in seminar, and got a lot of compliments as well as good feedback. I gave it again in lab meeting, and got more good feedback from the lab. There's one part that I still don't like, but I'm working on it (should be working on it as I write this, really). I got my haircut (also receiving many compliments!) and found an outfit to wear for my talk.
If you're sick of hearing about this talk already, don't worry, one week from today it will all be over! Then I'll just be fixing it up a bit for department retreat come January...