I haven't been writing much here this week. I've been busy. The programming project that bedeviled me prior to my vacation in late May returned with a vengeance after my return. The stress began to crescendo in the middle of last week. I finally achieved catharsis two days ago; the software I've been working on completed its first successful test.
Things outside of work have also been raising my blood pressure. I've been having computer problems at home -- I upgraded the CPU, memory, and motherboard in my computer about a month ago and Windows wasn't pleased with the change in living accomodations. This in turn, caused me some concern because the ability to work from home would allow me to reduce my work-related stress levels. So, after repeating the Windows support mantra "if you need to call, re-install" several times, everything on the machine at home is finally copacetic following a "from scratch" re-installation (I was beginning to think that the XP in Windows XP stood for "Xquisite Pain".) Add wedding planning to the mix and the fact that Girlfriend S. is going to have to move somewhere in the next month (in with me? into an apartment?) and there's a pretty high stress cocktail in there somewhere.
In the midst of all this coding during the day, cursing at Windows XP at the evening, and comforting a girlfriend who feels uprooted and very skittish about her Father's grasp of how much a wedding really costs, I re-discovered the joys of caffiene.
Honestly, I try to stay away from the stuff. I think it all goes back to a few key experiences in college where I discovered that studying or taking tests while wired on caffiene just wasn't the thing for me. Caffiene makes me jumpy... and doesn't always assist in my ability to retain information. The one type of situation where caffiene does generally become useful is when I am actively involved in problem solving, rather than attempting to absorb information out of say, a book. In general, I tend to try to live a "decaffienated lifestyle" whenever possible, however. I don't believe that I need the coffee/cola monkey on my back giving me headaches when if I can't respond when it says "feed me! feed me!" I also think that if sleep is what is really needed, why mask the symptom? Regular morning coffee is not going to solve the problem.
That said, we all know that there are times when alertness is a requirement, not a nicety. The past few weeks have been just such a time for me. I have to say it felt pretty good to be wired. It had been a long time since I was productive when the clock struck 12 twice in one day. After being wired on a mix of caffiene and adrenaline for a while, I understand a little bit of why being bipolar must be a nightmare -- when you are "on" the world is maybe not happy, but vibrant in all its many colors and subtleties. Falling down off that into a more muted, flat, numbed existence must be a shock and leave one with a lingering sense of longing about what things should be.
Of course, I'm now paying the price for all this. I feel like I haven't slept for about a week. I have a hard time concentrating for more than brief periods. I am SOOO looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning, and actually having nothing to do tomorrow afternoon.
Yes, a lazy morning tomorrow will be nice.
on 2003-06-20 at 1:14 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond