Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

How Steven Got His Groove Back

I've got some legitimate reasons for general anxiety and stress right now, and in truth I've been doing a better job than usual at maintaining a bitter and unhappy funk, but I just can't keep it up. For no external reason, I'm feeling better about things at the moment than I was when I woke up this morning, which is completely backwards; usually it takes the whole day for the assaults of the world to wear away at me. Going away last week led to even more of an avalanche of Morris Squire tasks on my return than I had anticipated (and I'd anticipated plenty), but I'm working through them and to my surprise as of the last piece of related email (of about 40 over the last 2 days) I was enjoying the work again rather than dreading it (hooray for the Ale). Some distracting things came up (in my own head) during my trip to Seattle, as sometimes happens when I go away, but they bother me less each day; self-pity is hard to maintain through dinner invitations (hooray for Jim and Denise), and surprise phone calls from people you haven't seen in a year inviting you to a small intimate gathering because they've been missing you (hooray for lesbian band musicians).

At the true heart of this mood lie some recent circumstances at work, company circumstances rather than individual circumstances, which I not only shouldn't write about but plain don't feel like writing about. Still, they involved not just an enormous financial setback for me, on a scale wholly out of proportion to a man of my meager means, but the official final end of what had once been some real financial hope. Perhaps the end was mostly symbolic, but it was distressing nonetheless. And while there have been work-related uncertainties for perhaps a decade now, at this point if my current job does in fact end there won't even be the compensatory cushion of severance. I can't think that it's a character flaw that I've been unproductive this week, to a horrifying degree -- even if I can't claim any real surprise over the situation.

But then this afternoon I opened up a file of papers and notes I'd been staring at pointlessly for days and it was as if the fog had lifted and the work I need to do here appeared before me with sudden clarity. I'm taking a break at the moment from sketching out some explanatory figures that suddenly appeared in my brain (regarding partition layout on a GPT disk, if you must know). The outline for a new section of a very old manual took shape. I'm off and writing. I'm amazed.

Because, you know, there's nothing that affects my mood so much as my sense of productivity at work. And out of work as well, but bad times at work make me feel bad and good times at work fill me with energy. Which is probably a very good thing indeed, considering that events of this week pushed the possibility of retirement out by a couple of years (again, no surprise, just finality).
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