Super Monday

If we were measuring life segments on a 0-10 scale, the weekend was a -10*

Today, in contrast, was a super Monday. It started at 5, quickly climbed to 8, stayed high all day, and finished at 10.

The day started well. I made the morning coffee manually for the first time since 13th October, when we bought the coffee machine. The return of this morning routine helped. Gave me a few minutes to walk around, smell the brewing coffee, and prepare for work.

I had no meetings or chats all day, other than the 10 minute morning standup. A full day of coding, reviewing, and studying with no distractions. Completed a good PR, merged two, and reviewed one.

I had a good walk with Chewie and Dudley in the afternoon. Didn’t meet any humans. FTW!

Lunch was more comfort food. Alu-methi parantha with chicken curry, and some Chewie cuddles.

Thanks to no meetings, I even finished work at 6. With a smile.

Then I went for a run. My first since early October. It was short, slow, and hard. But, I ran! Win!

A very good day, indeed**.

Continue reading Super Monday

Silver lining playbook

Ended up watching the movie. Good decision. Fell much better. Happier. Calmer.

Still sad about Bruno. Still not happy about the ending of the movie that shall not be named. That stupid tinnitus is still haunting me. Also, now I’m worried about how I’m gonna wake up tomorrow and drive.

But at least in feeling better than two hours ago. And happier. And calmer. That’s progress. A silver lining.

A star is born

That feeling of impending disaster didn’t go all day. Wasn’t good at work. Wasn’t good at anything. It just kept eating inside.

It didn’t help that tinnitus is bad, haven’t been able to speak to parents, and I won’t ever see Bruno again after tomorrow.

Finished watching ‘A star is born’ just now. It was so good. Then he killed himself. And left the dog alone.

I hate movies with sad endings. My life is hard enough as it is, I want happy feels, not sad endings. I really really hate great movies with sad endings. I should’ve stopped watching with 30 mins to go when R asked me to.

I admired how they touched on tinnitus and mental health. People without tinnitus just don’t understand what it is to live with this constant fucking buzz inside the head all the time! There’s no off switch. It can’t be drowned out. The best I can do is to get the head full of other shit so I don’t have the mental capacity to cater to the noise. That’s one reason why I work long hours.

It’s not the first Bradley Cooper movie I’ve liked. It’s the first time I’ve heard anything by Lady Gaga, and definitely the first time I’ve seen her. She is brilliant. I might check out some of her songs now.

Speaking of Bradley Cooper, Silver Lining Playbook may be a good antidote to this sad movie. It’s late though, and we’ve got to drive to Nottingham tomorrow to say bye to Bruno. So should I watch the movie or start reading the book?

Anxiety

Woke up with a low brooding feeling of dread. I’m not sure what it is that I’m dreading. It could be Bruno’s injury, or parents’ health, or something at work, or Tories further changing the country permanently, or Modi further changing the country permanently, or something entirely different.

It’s hard to manage this anxiety when I’m not even sure what’s causing it.

No meetings

Other than the 10 minute morning standup, I had no meetings today. None.

One full day of just thinking, reading and coding. It was so good.

It wasn’t easy. I was working on new, hard bits today. Most of the day was understanding what goes where and does what, before I could add my work to it.

It wasn’t lonely. I had two video chats with JT to work out some issues, and one with FB to understand his team’s solution. But it was all just work.


Over the weekend, I had created full day events on my work calendar for every Monday and Thursday. The events are called ‘No meetings, por favor!’

He/him

I noticed that everyone in the new team signs off with their name and their pronoun. I know that there was a debate about pronouns and preferred pronouns a while ago. Since I’m not on any social media, nor watch any news TV, the debate mostly passed me by. The key place I noticed its effect was with Taylor Mason’s preferred pronouns in Billions, and Bobby Axelrod’s continued use of them even when they went to war against each other.

On noticing the pronouns in the email signatures, I did some research, and read articles arguing both sides of the debate. This one was particularly relevant for me since it pointed out both sides of the argument from a liberal PoV. Based on the reading, specially the linked article, I’ve decided not to add a pronoun for now. Once I’m comfortable with the new colleagues, I’ll speak to them about it — to understand more perspectives, and on how they came to their decisions. Then revaluate it. In the meanwhile, mine are in the post title above.

New beginnings

On Monday, I start a new job and a new career. I’m a bit excited, and quite scared. (R is trés excited, not scared at all)

The fears

The first fear is from all the documentation, processing, and related formal requirements. That’s a foreground worry, as I’m working on it at the moment. It’s also the simplest, since if it becomes an issue, it’ll be placed right up in front of me to deal with.

The big worry is the background anxiety from the transition to this new career.
This is my first job in this field. At 41 years old. I’m starting from the bottom rung (good), but at a big, established organisation (scary). They have experienced people, processes, and the thing I’ll work on will reach out to millions of people (trés scary). I am not sure if I’m qualified for the work they expect (I was surprised to even get the first interview call). I’ve never worked on something at this scale. I haven’t worked on anything that complex. I haven’t worked in this industry at all. The likelihood of my completely bombing is fairly high. At the first job. In a new career. At 41. There may not be another restart option.

I love to work from home at my own times. I’m a strong advocate for remote working. In this case, however, I miss not being in the same shared office. Looking at everyone’s faces directly would have provided a good gauge of how I’m doing. Working remotely, online, removes that direct, immediate feedback mechanism. I’m dependent on other people to be kind enough to provide quick, direct and honest feedback. (And hopefully, to work with me at helping me improve.)

Another worry is that this career switch means I am permanently trading in the old career. There won’t be any going back. It’s a different ladder now. A ladder, as R says, I enjoy more. But also one that doesn’t go anywhere as high or as fast as the previous ones. The ceiling is strong and near in this career. In the previous one, sky was the limit (given willingness to get burnt). The change means saying goodbye to many things. And saying hello to occasional, depressing bouts of ‘what if‘.

The joy

There’s also joy. I’m going to be doing something that I enjoy doing. I’m going to be part of a team, and have an opportunity to make some stable connections outside of home and running. I’m going to be working at an organisation that I like, on a thing that I really like. Unless I bomb early and completely, I may even be able to make some things better. And, if I survive, I’ll get to learn. A lot. In areas that interest me. That learning, along with having stable team mates, is probably my biggest incentive. (R has a different one.)