My cell phone's battery went out sometime in the middle of the night; in my exhaustion, I hadn't plugged it in before I slept. So I continued to sleep onwards through the SLOBs meeting that I'd hoped to make (fortunately, reading backlogs, Marco and Bernie both correctly guessed jetlag as the reason for my absence).

Based on this and on my past couple trips overseas, I think I should start writing off the day after returning from an international trip as "recovery time." Don't count on being productive, though you'll probably get work done. Any work you get done is a bonus. There's always unpacking and cleanup and urgent follow-up to do on that day anyway.

Something remarkable about falling repeatedly: you get faster at picking yourself up each time. Fail better.

Once again, I find myself eating cereal as a quick hunger fix late at night; my sleep schedule's out of whack. I'm facing an impossible mountain of tasks and email backlogs (the tasks, for that matter, are backlogged). My apartment is in utter chaos and I've got some things to follow up on from today's class (which is going to be so awesome. Legal Stuffs: yet another world I've never seen before but really need to learn about). I'm probably a blocker to some people but don't know exactly how I'm blocking things yet. You know. Badness.

But I've been here before, and I've climbed out. So. Not so much the badness. Email backlogs don't look so bad now; I've cleared mine before. Sleep schedules can and will be shifted back under my control (not necessarily in conjunction with keeping normal daylight hours, mind you). Tasks: I've done a few triages and cleared out the worst of the time-sensitive ones, so I'm not blocking anything that's both important and time-sensitive, to my knowledge.

What I can do: first, I can settle out my bills from traveling and make sure that my prediction of having savings enough to work on projects that I care about without having to think about "The Job Thing" for at least 2 months is true. That is to say, I predict I can find a way to get money enough to pay my rent and minimal expenses within a 2 month period of seriously looking; I think I have at least 4 months of emergency savings. Therefore, there are 2 months during which I don't even have to think about job-hunting (if something comes up, awesome). Which means I can dedicate all my time to working on whatever I want to work on for February and March.*

Then I can make some tea, and take care of class stuff while that tea is brewing. Then I can sip that tea and start clearing out the rest of the stuff.

*I've steeled myself for some familial nagging on this front. It's part of the overhead of doing what I love right now, and I'm just going to have to deal with it. They've surprised me on the "understanding stuff" front before, though. And I know they read this blog. ;-)

I've got the makings of excellent tea, and I've got good company, and something is quietly shifting within me. I think it looks like a plateau - I think I'm scrambling over the last of the rockiness for a bit now, and have a chance to get used to the newness again.

In particular, I wonder what would happen if I decided that my role was community stuff community management cat-herding catnip-growing community stuff? Not cramming it in behind the thing I'm "supposed to be doing." Not trying to find excuses to stuff it into my "real work." But actually doing what it is I do well, if this is what I do well. I don't know. Let's find out.

Addendum: apparently, "Catnip Distributor" might not be a bad job description for open-source community facilitation work. Not only does the stuff make cats (see #4) get ridiculously excited, it also repels bugs. Okay, enough of this; work time.