This is how I feel at this very moment
What a day!
It snowed last night, not enough to require the Monster Snowblower from the Planet Manly, but enough that I would have to shovel. I pulled on my sweats, my coat and vest, boots, and a shovel, and headed out to the driveway to take care of that.
Despite it having rained just before the snow, it was actually pretty light stuff, so I had no problem getting the driveway clear. I was planning on hitting the gym this morning, so I had to rush around to get things ready before work.
I made myself an egg salad sandwich, packed two clementines and a packet of oatmeal in my lunch bag, then ran upstairs to pick out an outfit to wear to the office. I stuffed that into my gym bag, packed up the computer, warmed up the car, and was on the road by 9:00 AM.
Traffic wasn't bad at all for that time of morning, so I made it into the office by 9:30. I said hello to the few people who were there (Terry was looking frazzled, but I had to get in my workout before I was going to deal with work stuff), dropped off my lunch and my computer, and headed down to the gym.
The TVs weren't working, so instead of watching Regis and Kelly, I put on Mix 98.5 and did a full workout. I'm still the weakest adult male on the planet (concentration curls = 20 lbs. Two years ago, I was doing super-sets of those going from 50-55-60 lbs. I am made of spaghetti), but it felt good to sweat. And because I had the extra time from getting in extra early, I didn't rush through anything. 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer, back, biceps and triceps, and then back to the locker room for my morning ablutions.
I thought I was so clever, packing what is basically my entire bathroom cabinet into my gym bag. I have shampoo, bodywash, shaving cream and a razor, and a toothbrush and toothpaste with me, so I didn't have to do a thing before leaving the house.
Except, as I was brushing my teeth, I remembered a ritual I did at home at that time of the morning. Namely, I'd shower, brush my teeth...
And take my meds.
Crap. A day without Zoloft? Missing my Klonopin? What was this going to do to me? I prayed for a quiet, peaceful day as I ditched my gym bag in my car and headed upstairs to begin my workday.
Wonder where I update from? Here it is! The chair, in all its glory!
Unfortunately, a quiet, peaceful day was not to be. Terry practically attacked me at the door, babbling, "It'scrazyinhereyouhavetohelpout!!!"
Apparently, there was a Very Big Binding Job that needed to get done in a Very Small Amount of Time. Namely, 120 documents that needed to have tabs made, collated, tabs inserted, punched, spiral-bound and checked for quality, all in time for the first FedEx pickup.
But I'm off my meds! I thought. I put that aside, rolling up my sleeves and saying, "Should I take the document on the table, or help out Dan in the document assembly room?"
"Help Dan," said Terry. "He's in a tizzy."
I got to the document assembly room, and Dan was staring at an e-mail, trying to make sense out of the order in which tabs needed to be inserted into documents. I told him that he could finish printing and I would collate for him.
One of my few talents, work-wise, is the ability to collate at an incredibly rapid rate. (No, don't get jealous, it's inherited, I think.) I have this uncanny knack for finding the right page in which to place a tab or a slip sheet without really thinking about it. Once I know the page numbers (for the first one, they were 7, 20, 30, 55, 63, and the last page), my fingers seem to hit those pages without actively looking for them.
I set myself up, got into the Zen of Collating, and tore through all the documents on the counter. Dan brought in a steady supply of tabs and pages, and I tore through them in record time. (Yes, I realize that's like bragging about putting all the red crayons together quickly, but for some reason, everybody else seems to have this deliberate, slow way of collating.) I then brought the documents by the armful into the printing room, where I started punching holes for the spiral binding.
Spiral binding requires four steps: punch the holes, start the spring in the first couple of holes, zip the spring down using a roller machine, and cutting/crimping the edges of the spring. It sounds straightforward, but any document more than 10 pages in length needs to be punched in stages, which means the holes don't line up exactly every single time. Getting the springs through the first few holes is a pain in the neck. Very often, the roller machine will send the spring flying through the document, missing the first few pages and the cover, which means you have to turn the document around and unroll it, then re-roll it, hoping it catches. Cutting and crimping are supposed to happen in one step, but it often screws up. So it's the most painstaking process of binding we have.
Luckily, Mark Z. and Percy came in just as I was getting started, and we formed an assembly-line of sorts. I punched, Percy started the spring, I rolled, and Mark Z. cut and crimped.
A project that Dan estimated would take us until 4pm took until 2, and that was with Mark Z. and Percy taking a lunch break (I worked through that time, because I had just started my shift).
When he came back into the printing room, Dan was suitably impressed. "You guys rock!" he said. And you know what? We did. Yes, it was nothing but a bunch of manual tasks, but we got organized, didn't bitch (we actually joked and laughed our way through it), and churned everything out with a minimum of fuss.
Retro-Active is on the TV right now. "What's He Got?" by the Producers is playing. I am such a child of the 80s.
I thought the worst was over, but one of the New York consultants called and said that he had "an incredibly complicated set of charts" to do. Could he send it in and talk someone through it? I looked around, saw that nobody else was available, and realized that I would have to have some frantic consultant explain something complicated to me.
But I'm off my meds! I thought.
I told him that it was fine. I waited for the document to hit the in-box, and when I opened it up, it was covered in notes from the consultant. He had placed them willy-nilly all over each page, and I thought it would be a nightmare.
I took a deep breath, called him back, and went through the document, page-by-page. As he explained what he wanted, I realized that he simply had no idea how to approach this single kind of chart we do (it's a compromise, really. The data is there, but the structure of the chart is manipulated to show up in a certain way...it'd be too dull to explain it in detail, but I've seen them before, and they're no big deal once you get the hang of them), and he had them on every page. He had put the y-axis on the outside of the chart, in text boxes. It was all an easy fix, but it took some convincing to let this guy know that I understood what he wanted, and could turn this around for him in a timely fashion.
Got through the document, and realized that I hadn't eaten. I went into the kitchen, got my sandwich and a clementine, and started eating. Just then, the catering woman called up and said there was a bunch of leftover food from a big meeting downstairs (it always happens this way). I wasn't going to waste my food, and besides, I was kind of in the mood for egg salad.
I felt virtuous, eating my somewhat-healthy lunch until the catering woman called back and said there was a big platter of cookies by her kitchen. I told Laurie to grab me "something chocolate." I'm not made of stone!
And I'm off my meds!
Trooper has to see what I'm doing. His nose usually gets in the way of my typing at least once.
Dan left for the day (how did 4:00 come so fast?), and I got a call from the consultant I contacted last Friday about a certain conversation (if you've been reading me lately, and know where to look, you can find out all about it).
I was nervous about meeting with her (I'm off my meds!), but the talk went very well, and I came back to an office that had gone from crazy-busy to just about dead in the short time I was away. That suited me just fine. I worked a little bit on the image database project, but not enough to put it down on my timesheet. (I was just kind of beat by that time.) I proofread a couple of documents, coached our remote-working contract employee on how to do certain charts, and suddenly, it was time to watch Joan of Arcadia.
You know, I'm a devout Athiest, but if God showed up to me as a cute little girl and said profound things about my daily life, I might just get into that sort of thing.
When I came back from my dinner break (I had a salad with chicken on top...healthy!), I got a call from The Fabulous Robert, who apologized all over himself for having to break our hastily-made date for tomorrow. He'd double-booked, and was mortified that he had to stand me up. I told him it was no big deal, we could do dinner next week, and we left it at that.
Stephanie then called and asked if she could catch a ride with me into work in the morning. Sure, she gives me shit for picking her up from the office, but has no problem asking me to take her in. I guess it makes sense, in a 19-year-old sort of way, but it amuses me to no end.
I proofread the document that the remote contractor had done, realized that it was now 10:30pm, we had nothing scheduled, so I told everybody to pack up and go home.
Skottie had to get in on the act. He says hello.
I got home and found Mom just about to head upstairs to bed. I told her about my day, and she said that she was worried that I was doing way too much, way too fast. Changing hours, having that meeting, being on the computer all the time writing... She's worried that I'm headed for a crash.
Honestly, I worry about that all the time. I feel like that person inside me who was screaming to get out of the depressed shell of a human being all that time has suddenly appeared, and wants to make up for the lost years all at once. I worry that I'm truly bipolar, and that the Zoloft has pushed me into a semi-permanent manic state, and I'll suddenly wake up one day and feel like killing myself again.
I don't really think that will happen, but I know I can't go all-out like I've been going, because I'm simply going to exhaust myself and burn out. I promised Mom that next Wednesday and Thursday were going to be nothing but relaxing, no-stress days for me. I certainly have enough to keep me busy:
I plan on reading a trashy Laurell K. Hamilton book, and Eats, Shoots and Leaves, watching The O.C., Soap, and/or Shaun of the Dead. Maybe go for a movie, or take the dogs for a walk. I'm seriously considering going to Healthworks and getting an hour-long massage from the cutest guy they employ.
I won't get involved in any work projects on those days off. I may do the bookbinding project, because that will be fun and relaxing. I may do my multimedia project (which I've only told Laurie and my Aunt Helen about so far...it will make sense when I announce it), because it really excites me. But if I decide to sit on my ass and listen to bad 80s music while reading silly novels, I'm going to do that. No worries about work, no checking in with the design in-box, no instant messages to Dan or Terry or Lara. Just time to myself.
And one more thing: