Writing is something I can actively do to change the way I think about things. Reading, too. I can put down the tracks I want my mind to be able to step upon.
I spent most of today in Cambridge getting very little work done. I guess I could call it a day of capacity-building; Elsa, Aaron, and Jeff came out to 1cc and volunteered to tote Diane's loaner XOs out to her for this week's workshop, then proceeded to (bless their patience) start working through support-gang resources. I owe them an email; I'll send it now. Done.
Dogi and Bernie combined their magical powers to create (at last!) a gorgeous triple-monitor cockpit at my desk, with removable laptop for taking notes in meetings. (Dogi, Henry, and Bernie are wonderful sysadmins and better teachers than I deserve.) There is a tiny bit of setup left to be done tomorrow (syncing bookmarks, shortcuts, etc. across my various computers) but even now, the increased input is fantastic. And then I used my new setup to... watch a Charlie Chaplin film. And continue working on volunteer resources, but I think my brain had mostly shut down by that point.
In parallel to all this: SJ called out to me from across the Garden (the large open area in the middle of OLPC's office, where most of the engineers work) and told me Nikki was downstairs. "What is she doing here?" I said, confused. I ended up joining their semi-random Sibb family outing (Sibbs = the thing wherein Student Life pairs incoming Olin frosh with older students) for dinner at Veggie planet and some much-needed time with Things That Were Not Work-Related. I hadn't realized how knotted up I'd gotten. I also hadn't realized that I'd forgotten about eating. Hungry.
Not so hungry now, though. After stuffing myself with the equivalent of 2 full dinners (and packing a third only because I couldn't eat fast enough), I was at the office for another 5 hours or so and then returned home to find that Chris and Leslie had made these gloriously buttery croissants. The apartment smells like a French bakery. Remembering to eat breakfast tomorrow should not be difficult at all.
Also, tired. Really exhausted. Must scale back, pace myself... I want to wake up tomorrow, eat a wonderful, slow breakfast (preferably one involving a large cheese omelet, if we have eggs - and the aforementioned croissants) and then plot out my day, which will involve a minimum of work*, a maximum of getting a handle on my running processes and killing off extraneous daemons, rest, physical activity (possibly kicking stuff), rest, catching up on finances, rest, rest, rest, and rest.
*support-gang resources, website testing, and test community prep.
This is far earlier than I've eased off in the past. I once plea-bargained permission to give a class presentation with strep throat, a 102F fever, and no voice - I'd subtitled my slides to compensate. My professor said yes because it was the only way to convince me to go back to my dorm and sleep immediately afterwards. Looking back on this, I have mixed feelings - pride that I did that, and acknowledgement that it was really stupid. Also the knowledge that I'll... probably repeatedly do things like it again. I know my limitations better; I continue to push them, but I'm also conscious of the cost of hitting them, and sometimes (sometimes) think about whether it's worth paying that cost. I'm getting better at the sometimes.
It's possible, I think, to love someting too much.
I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving week. (Vacation. Time with People. Good Things. Rest.)
I'm taking care of myself in the only way I know how (a way that's constantly changing as I learn, and then change, and then learn I've changed). Fortunately, I seem to be durable enough so far to survive the kind of care I take.