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My life as a rollercoaster

10 October 2004

It seems that my mind produces more ideas than I can write down, my will drives me to more tasks than I have time or energy to finish, and all the things I need to get done, and all the commitments I make overstrip all of my time leaving me with no time to ever get bored or do absolutely nothing — which I do anyhow, because I need to have my time to veg, so it’s inevitable that something always gets left to not get done. I know my life needs simplification, but I can’t seem to get from this side of the chasm to the other. Why can’t I give up the things that I want to do, so that I feel less general stress in my life? Why can’t I just end up doing more? It’s why I never sleep, because I’m always wanting to fit that little bit more into my life. Is this a common experience, or am I a special case? Is it a modern condition to be so crazy busy and without contemplation time? I was listening to NPR the other day on my way to work, and there was a discussion of the decline of readership of novels, and the general loss of ‘contemplation time’, so I can’t help but thing I’m just a victim of a general trend, but there is an element of choice here that I cannot deny. I do choose to be this busy to a certain extent — there’s way too much in life that I want to get done. Trying to do it all, and to raise a family is proving to be difficult if not impossible. I am trying to trim my life where I can, and I hope that eventually I can find that magical balance. I guess you’ll hear about it, if I do. I just hope I can keep the blog going consistently. These last few weeks have been crazy nuts for me, with work being what it is. I’ve been working on this project for the last year it feels like, but only recently have we actually gotten any code written, and we’re way behind. I feel like I am bumbling through my end of things, only kinda knowing what I’m doing in a world of frameworks that are relatively new to me. We really only have a few weeks until we were supposed to have a beta test ready, and a month until we are supposed to show our results to the ‘rest of the class’, but I really have doubts we’re going to make it. I am hoping I’m just being pessimistic and alarmist, but we don’t have a lot built out, and I am not certain how close we really are to finishing. I guess that’s the problem, we don’t have a clear roadmap to the steps between where we are and where we need to be, and with really weeks in the making here, I’m just not seeing us hitting target. I’m starting to feel the stress of it all, and I’ve been having problems sleeping over it. But since I’m so busy, I’m finding it hard to focus my energies into changing the situation by working extra hours, etc. and I feel like my knowledge is somewhat limited by my inexperience, and I have never been a very fast coder. Well, I guess it is what it is, and I have no choice but to just work as best as I can and hope to make deadline. I had a conversation with my boss yesterday, and clued her in to where I felt we were on the project. I think it surprised her a bit that we were so behind, considering I haven’t said anything until recently about it, but when I get panicked I tend to quiet up and tuck in and hope to get things done before anyone notices. The exact wrong tactic to get stuff done, but it’s my defense mechanism. Next week I expect a radical shift in things, and some focused efforts on getting the project in line. I just fear I may have shaken her trust in me being able to handle things on my own. The truth is, we just haven’t had enough time to do things right, and the schedule has been kinda insane as far as I am concerned, but that’s where we are at. I have a great deal of faith in the other two engineers on the project, but the problem is — one of them really isn’t on the project, and the other one has been pretty busy himself on other work, so it’s been me for the last few weeks bumbling around in the dark, with my rusty slow java skills trying to eek something out on my own, and failing miserably. But Monday makes a new week, and we’ll see where we go from there. I just have to bury the panic and try to keep this from affecting the rest of my life too much.

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