Is it melancholy?

Second night of insomnia and anxiety. Too much change. Missing Maisie. Missing Bruno. Missing my daffodils at bottom of the drive flower bed. Missing my chocolate and chili begonias. Missing my house number sign. Missing my rustic, old but trusty, clay brick driveway. Missing the beloved, if aged, civic. Missing parents. Missing an India I wanted to go back to. Missing the old house. Missing dad’s shop. Missing Bombay. Missing Goa.

Not liking the new India. Not liking parents’ new neighbourhood. Not liking the new car’s blazing red colour. Not liking the scope creeping driveway contractor. Not liking suppressing suggestions and feedback at work to keep the peace.

Not happy that it’s too hot for a duvet and too cold for no duvet. Not happy about my weight. Not happy about the lack of running. Not happy about all the chocolate. Not happy that I haven’t worked on my apps in months. Not happy that I’ve been watching too much TV, and reading too little.

Spoke too much

4 days off, and on my second day back I’m already struggling.

It was a Wednesday, the day of meetings. And I spoke in all of them, often about tangents1. Then I spent the evening fretting about speaking too much about things I shouldn’t be talking about.

Tomorrow is Thursday, the day of zero meetings. Target is to not speak to anyone about anything. Stretch target is to only speak to a couple of people about just the work I’m doing tomorrow.

I should just get Pam to jinx me2.

Continue reading Spoke too much

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.

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.)

Happy

It’s snowing!

Wonderwall is playing in the background.

I’m working.


Yes, there’s lots of anxiety in the background—too many important things hanging in delicate balance.

But here, now, at this moment, I’m very happy :)

Tick. Tock.

Score hit 1600 on one page. Up.

Another proposal rejected, apparently withouta second read, by a team marketing solution for second reads. Down.

Spoke to ma pa for nearly 90 minutes. Up.

Had a short, 5-minute angry rant midway. Down.

Rested all day and stretched twice. Up.

Legs are still stiff and hurting, with 10 miles on the training plan tomorrow. Down.

Played and snuggled with boy. Up.

Lying alone on the sofa thinking bad thoughts, when I should be asleep. Down.

81.4

The weighing scale read 81.4 Kg on Saturday, 10 Aug. Last time I weighed this much was on 26th February, more than five months ago.

As recently as a month ago, on 5th July, I weighed just 78 Kg. I gained 3.4 kilos in a month!

That 81.4 isn’t a single spike. My average weight last week was 80.3 Kg. A month ago it was 78.3 Kg. Even the weekly average increased by 2 kilos​ :(

Based on BMI (25.4), that makes me officially overweight.

Continue reading 81.4

Restless+anxious (work, blood and running edition)

Un. Haven’t heard from Axc in over a week. Last chat was 11 days ago. It’s too long a wait. Do I ping them? Do I wait for them? A long wait usually implies regret, but I’ve been told things move slowly in this team, so it could be either. Either way, it’s not helping my anxiety. I need a new project, sure. But I really want is this one.

Dos. I have a blood donation appointment today. I failed1 the last one. I’m likely to fail today’s as well. My success at blood donation has been inversely correlated with my running/swimming/cycling activity. If I’m working out regularly, the haemoglobin level is likely to be below the threshold. Last year I was out of action for 7 months due to ankle injury, so had two successful donations in that period. This year I’ve been running at least 100K a month, so have already failed one donation. Today will be second (I think).

As much as I’m anxious about failing the blood donation today, I’m a bit conflicted about being successful as well. Three failures in a row and I’m out—struck off as a donor. Every time NHS Blood calls me for a donation appointment, I get conflicted. I can do the right thing—choose to donate and slow down my workouts to get the haemoglobin level up. Or I can do the selfish thing—refuse the appointment and keep up with my workouts. For a while now, I’ve been taking the wrong, easy path—agreeing to donate but continuing the workouts. This means I waste their appointment slot (by failing the test), and cause myself anxiety and resentment. If I get struck off, at least it takes one bit out of my hands, and I can return to exercising (mostly) without guilt.

Tres. I’ve been stretching better than usual lately. The wobble board has been working the core. And I am in good shape mentally (run-wise). If the weather stays cool, and I get all the scheduled training done this week, I feel like I can post a good time at the parkrun this weekend. I am really looking forward to it. But I have a run scheduled for today, and I can’t run today unless I fail the donation. There’s that conflict, again.


  1. Failure = not allowed to donate because haemoglobin level was below 135g/l. 

Procrastinating through work

I need to do two big, hairy, scary work tasks. One is important and scary (unknown outcome), the other is hard (unknown input quantity, unknown outcome).

Instead I have been working all morning finishing off the less important, less scary tasks from the todo list.

I am procrastinating—escaping work by working on other stuff.

Continue reading Procrastinating through work