marsden_online: (Sisters)
When I first started intending to write this post it was as good news. That was a couple of weeks ago when I had leveraged cat-sitting for a friend into sufficient motivation to get out of bed at a good time in the morning several days in a row. I had also taken the week off gaming at SAGA to be home with cats which actually freed up 8-10 hours of time; some of which I spent working from home (light stuff) but much of which was just pressure-free. It is notable how much lighter I felt just not feeling that I "needed" / was expected to be at gaming those nights.

Since then it has been a couple of weeks in which I have not managed to find the time and energy despite deliberately adding the post to my written to-do list.

One of those weeks was "short" (public holiday) in which I nevertheless managed to work my usual amount of hours; partially because the earlier mornings have stuck a little (although it could just be that sunrise is about 6am now) and partially by working an hour or two from home on a priority project some evenings) while struggling to finish another priority project during the day (repeatedly interrupted by urgent work for even more overdue projects - those however are in that state due to client-side delays).

This week just finished I have worked about 7 more hours than usual (typical day being only about 5-6 hours) including evenings and cumulating in a 9 & 1/2 hour day today off 5 hours sleep last night. (Bonus though: being motivated to stay out of bed at 6am #mixedblessing) Much of this has been on the project I was working on from home the previous week which has overtaken the (still not finished) project from those days. By the end of today the project was finally ready to go back to the client for review over the weekend, but it feels like having battled to a standstill over just one engagement in a losing war.

And it has been a slog. Everything seems to be taking 2-3 times longer than it should to get right. Inability to hold focus on what I am doing, stupid mistakes and near-endless debugging in a still unfamiliar codebase. I know this feeling; I know it will only get worse until I take a much-needed break; that downtime would result in the work being completed /faster/ but the flip side of that is that struggling on will still result in it being completed /sooner/. And until I get this project done that seems the most important.

I do not get a day off tomorrow: it is working bee day at the Hall. Although I am not expecting a significant turnout even with the bribe of pizza, which actually means I am likely to spend more time physically working than coordinating visitors. There has been an uptick in break-ins and breakages at the Hall over the past month which has not helped my mood.

I kind of get a day off on Sunday: I have cancelled gaming for the evening but still have chores that need to be done. Last Sunday (or was it Monday) I mostly crashed.

Next week is another short week ended by a (regional) public holiday; I already plan to take the Monday off as well but the weekend includes a 48 Hour gaming event which I expect to be spending significant time at; while I expect to enjoy the event I also expect it to be additionally draining. If (/if/) I can get this project (back to the one I was working on last week) finished up early in the week I will take extra days before the weekend as well. Those potential days are already filling up with potential Hall commitments.

If after this I can get back to the in-house work that needs to be completed and avoid any client-facing deadlines I can cruise until Xmas. I have a whole 4 weeks off at that point - although past experience doesn't make me optimistic about my chances of feeling significantly recovered after events over that period. But that (enforced) time off also leaves me with precious little annual leave left to carry me through to the next.

Just as a bonus I had my last psych meeting for the year on Thursday afternoon. I started it venting about work and we moved on to discussing how "downtime" is something that only ever occurs in my life by accident unless I have someone in my life to distract me from / steer me away from / give me "permission" to put down the things I will otherwise feel I ought to be getting on with.

This naturally led into the guaranteed mood-dropper of my ongoing failure or inability to attract female companionship - not just friendship* but intimacy and mutual support. Well, averaging out to mutual support - to be fair at times like this I want /looked after/; I want the weight of facing my could-do/should-do list superseded and the weight of dealing with having at best a pillow or feline to cuddle lifted.

* I have many wonderful female friends [waves], many of whom I would be happy to consider something more if the feeling was mutual or other factors didn't stand in the way ... but it almost never seems to be [looks at fingers on one hand].

At the very least I would like someone to be able to explain /why/ I'm apparently so ineligible. The best anyone has ever managed (and intoxicated advice taken with caution) is that I initially appear too "boring" to be worth getting to know further; but it chews through /far/ to many spoons for me to adopt the outgoing persona she seemed to be suggesting I needed. And anyway, what then of those who have gotten to know me?
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