How to Fight Ennui

I’m halfway through a four week opportunity filling in for my manager, which has made me responsible for 50-odd developers, testers and managers. Ever the over-achiever I’ve worked hard so far to jump onto that 12km/h treadmill and not fall off. I’m still upright, and juggling… oh, yeah, I forgot to mention, there is simultaneous juggling involved.

Managing a group is very similar to managing a team. Only more so.

Most of the past two weeks has consisted of bridging communication gaps, gathering information for various people, and preparing reports and information. The higher up the hierarchy, the more the job consists of employing good communications skills and an even temperament.

There is something slightly exhausting about it for a natural introvert.

But at the same time I seem to be quite good at it. I take a lot of satisfaction from every situation I manage to improve; a fraction here, a percentage there. There is something exhilarating about seeing the results.

With the effort going into the job right now, I have been frantic to get the most out of the weekends. I feel there is so much I need to try and get done. More than could ever fit into the available space-time. I’m finding it hard to pick what to do. Nothing seems quite enough and everything seems too much.

Today has been one big pile of ennui.

But maybe that’s because I’m just trying too hard to do things that do not match my needs. Maybe my introvert needs the weekend to be less consequential than I am trying to make it. Maybe I should just allow myself to stare into space, or read a book, or watch some mindless television so my brain can explore the inside of my head.

And on the off-chance that it is simply the fact I haven’t been to the gym in two weeks, I’ll make my Sunday Yoga a priority for tomorrow, and try to fit a few classes between my new temporary obligations during the coming week.

Day 233 – Just a Little Unwell

I still don’t think I’m entirely well. I feel much more tired than I should be, occasionally I still have a coughing fit, and going to bed at 2am yesterday probably didn’t help much either.

It’s important to call your mother on her birthday though, and I had forgotten due to Wednesday Regulars until after midnight when I had a sudden panic. She was trying to let me off the hook, but we had a good conversation for an hour, and I was happy to make the sacrifice.

Then the work-day unfolded with a lot more draining content than I was ready for, but alas, that’s the job sometimes.

And then I finished up with a visit to the gym. I had skipped Monday and Tuesday already, and at some point I just start feeling wrong. The class felt good at the time, but I’ve been slumped on the lounge all evening. And now I think I’m ready for bed. And another meeting-ful day tomorrow.

I need to throw something restorative into the weekend.
Maybe sleep?

Day 226 – Fatigue

Still not getting to sleep at a reasonable time.
It’s not that I’m not tired, but my brain is too alert and swirling with ideas.

Maybe this is just like how it can be hard to fall asleep when a problem is still stuck in my head. When that happens I’ve had a lot of success with writing everything down that I might worry about forgetting and then it just allows itself to switch off.

Maybe something similar applies here.

Tomorrow evening I will start putting all my ideas somewhere that I will not forget them. Fingers crossed that’ll help.

And in between I make ice cream.
Sin will be over to make Port Pears with me.
There will be pictures.

There won’t be samples.


Day 174 – Zombie

Standing and walking and sliding is hard work. After 6-7 hours at Wet’n’Wild yesterday I was certain I was going to fall almost straight into bed and zonk out. Well, just one more game of Storm to let my mind wind down.

Alas, fate had other things for me in store.

I ended up on a late night covert mission that I cannot tell you about, or I’d have to shoot you. We shall call it “Operation Flying Squirrel”,… because I feel like it.

Operation Adorable

I was debriefed at about 2:30am, and asleep by 3:00am… only to have my alarm re-awaken me around 7:30am. I don’t normally have to function on so little sleep, but I think I did a very convincing impression of an awake human being.

Still, there are some signs.

All day at work, I was having trouble multi-tasking and keeping more than one thought in my head at a time. I’d get interrupted for a question or a comment, and then five seconds later I’d be fumbling for what I was working on right before the interruption. I don’t think this was one of my most productive days.

And then the gym…

I was dreading the gym…

But either Nikki took pity on us tonight, or somehow my lack of sleep has dulled my feeling of muscle ache. The 30 minutes she was in charge were exhausting as always, but for some reason, not really all that painful. Even now, I still feel fine. Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting this on the open Internet.

All in all, a very good Friday.
Every part of it.

Oh yes, I’ve decided all the rest of the days this week are Friday. On Fridays I allow myself a coke from the fridge at work. I never drink coke other than on Fridays. It’s always a Friday when I have one… Honest. Am I fooling anyone?

Time to wind down to an early night. I want at least 8-9 hours tonight, so that I can re-do everything I did today. Alert Jerry hates the sloppy messes Tired Jerry leaves, but he’s never around to fix it himself.

Day 135 – X-Ray Vision

I was really tired all day today. It’s entirely my fault; not getting to sleep before 2am is really not conducive to a productive day. I think I faked my way through most of it well enough though.

There’s one thing I don’t do well though.

Have you ever read a sentence three times in a row?
Have you ever discovered you still did not know what it said?

I was reviewing a two-page document today to give feedback and comments on the substance. First time through it took 10 minutes to read, and when I opened an email to give feedback I realised I didn’t know a word that was in the document.

When I recognise my eyes focusing through the page, I know that it’s happening. It also occurs when I’m trying to finish one-more-chapter-of-reading on the Kindle before falling asleep, when my brain has already switched off.

It took immense willpower to absorb the surface layers of the document.
I think I managed to leave the impression I might have absorbed it all.

But I still feel bad.

So, I’m writing this post early. I’m going to sit down with a sandwich and some Newsroom. And then I’m going to sleep early tonight, because I really don’t like this super-power.