Decisive Moment

Dear J-

When I walked out of the office yesterday I had a lot more work: a paper to review (peer review! technical paper! me!), graphs and plots to generate, work to supervise, learning about new things … it’s an exciting time isn’t it? At the same time I get home and the last thing I want to do is spend time with my family, which is a horribly skewed way of looking at it, but … but nothing. There’s no excuse. Spreadsheets don’t hug you back. Nothing is quite so marvelous as this earnest 1st grade time, when all the new things must be repeated at top volume and if it’s worth doing, it’s worth being obsessive. I’m finding myself stuck looking at electronics I’ll never use as often as I think I will, at stuff I didn’t need but wanted.

The inside of my desk at work looks like a failed monument to electronics recycling: I have three trackballs, two mice, three keyboards and way too much time on my hands, apparently. The setup is undeniably nice but there’s just so much of it right now. Plus this is only the stuff I could gracefully keep: everything else is … well … my electronic filing system is little better. Let’s not kid ourselves too much; there’s only a little bit of time you can spend using some of this stuff and the rest is just time you’ve spent identifying a need you didn’t know existed until you found some new junk to like. Hopefully that works out well for you.

Drive on like you don’t care. Right. This is not a litany of all my sins, after all. I like the way things are going but we still have a ways to go before we’re satisfied. That’s all right, since we have plenty left to go over too. Life works out funny that way sometimes. When I’m in my seat thinking about dozing off in the afternoon I’ll wake up in a blind panic somewhere between Redwood City and San Mateo, looking to see if we’ve passed Hillsdale at some point along the way and if I need to remain or go: that instant of blind panic just as you wake and before you realize what’s going on or where you are, that’s where I feel some whole days.

Mike

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