Half and Half
Half of yesterday was good. The other half sucked. Externally, most of the big news was good (see below blog entries). Internally, well...
Day before yesterday I got someone (a clutter companion) to help me clean up my filing system. It was completely messed up from 3 moves in two years - 20 years of confusion strewn across multiple filing cabinets and laid out bare. We sorted, we threw things out, we worked for 6 hours together. She kept me going - I would have gone off the rails inside of 40 minutes - and in fact - had - multiple times, these past 10 months. We ended up with 1 1/2 trashcans full of crap, and near my left hand now, is a perfectly sorted, half empty, filing cabinet.. I took a lot of joy that finally
I could find 2002 and 2003 again, and that my business life was separated from my creative one - and all those things, finally, going back to childhood, were all right where they needed to be.
I've discovered that subtracting things from your life takes more energy than adding to it. Sure, when you are done, you feel pretty good, but it doesn't take long for a delayed overwhelm reaction to hit you.
I went to see the matrix reloaded. I came home at 10 exausted, strangely, and lay on the couch paralyzed, having nightmare after nightmare - every mistake I'd made in 20 years passed before my eyes. I finally got up at 3 AM - and I don't know what sleep really is, or what dreams really are - so was I awake? Was I dreaming? - and finally got a little dreamless sleep on the apnea machine. Did I get 3 hours of sleep that night - or 8 with 5 hours of nightmares?
It took two hours to get out of bed.
I had a bunch of things that I had to do today that I didn't - Instead I got wrapped up in trying to finish a complex piece on "beating the brand", the longest thing I've tried to write since Uncle Bil's Helicopter. I struggled to sort it out. I managed to keep filing things, which was encouraging - but that was it - the piece refused to jell, and I didn't get what I really needed done, done. I completely forgot to exercise, too.
I had to get out of the house.
So I went off to lupin. Ate some fish (my omega-3 consumption has otherwise been down). I played some piano, hung out with a senior citizen who couldn't remember my name but danced to the blues and some Pink Floydish stuff I'd written last week. I talked about my problems with her, reintroducing myself 5 times. It was like talking to Eliza. Then I sat in a hot tub for a while until I felt more balanced.
Then, since I was halfway to the office anyway... I couldn't stand to go home - I've been trying to get to the mental point where I can work again for weeks, without success - I drove to the office. I cleaned up there, too. Nobody had touched the place since I left, except to take my monitors and posturepedic chair. I wiped down the desk. I straightened up. I sorted my drawers. Tons of useless stuff went in the trash. I got caught up on some email. I tried to get off a few mailing lists.
I saw all kinds of problems being taken on by the company, stuff that would have once excited me, stuff that I could solve...
Stuff that wasn't in my job description. And there was nothing within my job description that I felt capable of doing. Thinking about working on code again, on turning one more brick into something that can play doom, on fixing on more bug, on going to one more meeting - causes my brain to shut down. I can't even sit down and write a "hello world" program right now. I'm really interested at a meta level on neurofeedback, and I keep trying to sort of conceive how I would visualize brain patterns in different ways using Linux tools - and it's like that part of my brain is worn smooth. I can't get from step A to step F. On anything.
I wiped off the white board, and wrote, left handed, on it - "Where are the snowdens of yesteryear?"
I sat. For hours. I know I am overly influenced by fiction, but I feel a lot like Yossarian in Catch-22 these days. I don't remember all I thought about - I thought about all these ways to motivate myself to get back on the horse - I thought of my colleagues that were friends, and the colleagues that I'd like to be friends - I thought about colleagues that I wanted nothing to do with - I thought about getting some OJ - and I spent a lot of that time with my brain totally shut down. I just sat there, in my windowless, clean, empty slate of an office, trying to think of something else to write on the white board, something else that would inspire me...
Do I have something left to prove? Do I have something left to give? I still don't have an answer. I'm going to sleep on it.