Reflections from a (mentally) Foggy Tuesday.
I got started at 1100AM after writing yesterday’s Foggy Monday post, which had taken an hour to do.
The day started with a number of small resistances (making a phone call), paying property taxes at City Hall, grabbing some peppermint tea, buying wine for a charity event, and picking up mail. I got home at 1PM, and put away my groceries.
OBSERVATION: The morning chores, which had loomed large in my head as “tedious chores”, were not nearly as unpleasant as my subconscious was making them out to be. I had imagined all these steps that I needed to do. The very act of thinking about them in the abstract created resistance. The actual part of moving around / picking up the phone was easy-peasy. Moral: STOP THINKING SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT I HAVE TO DO and just GET STARTED. Since I hadn’t put myself under time pressure, that helped.
OBSERVATION: Not feeling stuck, which comes from any forward motion, feel good. Feeling good reduces anxiety.
OBSERVATION: Organic whole chickens are surprisingly inexpensive. I could roast a chicken every week and get really good at it, and it would feed me for at least a couple days for under 7 dollars, if I read the prices right.
It was 1:15PM, and I had a Skype call scheduled at 2PM. Tuesday is the day I assign to a particular recurring client, which is anchored by this Skype call. My brain is TOTALLY FUZZY. What to do for that 45 minutes? I don’t want to take a nap (though I really do) because I might just zonk out again in a post-lunch coma. I am already, though, feeling a bit fried and scatterbrained. I can tell by the number of times I check Twitter, Facebook, and Email in the span of 5 minutes.
OBSERVATION: I have yet to do anything creative today, and it feels like it’s not going to happen. Errands and meetings kill the impulse, and it’s harder to start it after lunch. I should have gone to the gym perhaps.
Maybe it is OK to just take a break. It doesn’t feel like I’ve done any real work yet, and this is why I don’t want to take a break. But I think I have to. I just bought some peppermint tea, after all. Let me just enjoy that in a quasi-meditative state and see what thoughts float up…
…and about 5 minutes later, I’m full of peppermint tea and STILL feeling fried and jittery. Yesterday’s experience of going into the Laundry Room when I was feeling fried came to mind. Maybe I just needed to get away from the computer. Maybe if I stood somewhere else in the house, something else would get done.
APPLICATION: Brain feeling fuzzy? GET AWAY FROM COMPUTER, which invites mindless clicking, and get in front of the Kitchen Sink, where that nervous/mindless clicking energy will end up washing dishes and decluttering. Wow!
This small victory at my back, I tried to kickstart again. Again, it’s a matter of getting into the workspace, which means gathering the relevant stuff up in front of me where I can see it. The first task is some bug fixing, so that means (urrrrr…brain resisting) loading Dreamweaver, the website in a browser (which URL was it? URRR), and Basecamp (which account, mine or the clients? URRRRRR) to start keeping a log of what I’m doing.
Upon opening Basecamp, I realized I had to make a “dev hour tracking message” for this time period (we go mid-month to mid-month). I summed up hours from last month in my Excel timesheet to make sure I wasn’t over the allotment. I still haven’t actually started work, but at least I’m in the workspace.
At 2PM, we chatted, and by 2:45PM I was ready to do some ACTUAL WORK. We had shifted the focus to add some features to a website. Along the way, the client showed me a cool website template that we wanted to use, and I liked it so much that I bought it for myself to use as the basis for a new-and-improved davidseah.com.
At 5PM, it was time to make dinner and get ready to attend a Future Tech Women hangout to which I had been invited, where I could show off the Sparki Arduino robot I just got from a Kickstarter. Made dinner (Cajun Dirty Rice from a box, with turkey instead of ground beef). As I cooked, I marveled that I’d made progress on tedious tasks by just facing them and pushing just enough until I started. Not worrying about how long it would take seemed to be a key, as did trusting that I would figure it out somehow.
OBSERVATION: Just FACING something and figuring it out a little bit feels like progress, if you’re not freaking out about not getting it done RIGHT THIS FREAKING MINUTE.
Arriving at the venue in Manchester, I discovered my phone was dead (I almost never use it) so I couldn’t call the event organizer to let me in. I considered driving home because I didn’t want to bother anyone, but decided wait outside the building until someone else showed up, which I found a bit embarrassing. But it didn’t kill me, and I’m glad I showed up. There were all kinds of cool people showing off the cool inspiring tech toys and books, and I left feeling very positive and grateful for this community.
OBSERVATION: It’s good to be around people who love the same things you do. Which means I need to make some adjustments to other commitments I have that are more out of a sense of misplaced duty than love.
I woke up later, and got downstairs at 9:30AM, if my twitter feed is to be believed. It’s now 10:30AM. READY TO ROCK. Sort of. Day 3 is always kind of a difficult day to get through when I’m doing a week-long logging experiment.