Monday, January 13, 2014

Five Days a Week

This past week represented two fives: it's been five months since treatment ended, and it was the first week in which I went to the office on all five days.

Fortunately the unpleasantness of treatment continues to recede in my memory. If I try, I can remember feeling badly. But those memories are not spontaneous.

In the next post I'll update my current situation, which overall is pretty good.

Before the end-of-year break I was feeling very aimless at work. Even when I had goals, I had a terrible time trying to concentrate and make progress on them. During the two weeks I had off I felt pretty depressed about work. I was not looking forward to going back and feeling more of that aimlessness.

Fortunately, on the second day back I had a meeting in which I took on a couple of tasks that I could accomplish in a few days. I knocked a couple of them off right away and suddenly felt much better. I still have trouble focusing, but it's improved.

My work (software development) is highly conceptual. One of the things I've always been good at is building a complete high level picture of a system in my head and then being able to solve smaller problems within that system - and to zero in on the issues that need to be solved at the moment. I was involved in some other meetings last week in which I got to exercise those mental muscles. It felt good. It was especially nice just to feel useful.

Although I went to the office all five days, I left early every day. I know that I have a limited energy budget and I have to pace myself.

Just to add to the challenge, I volunteered a couple of evenings. I have been a mentor for the local high school robotics team for the past four years. The main period during which I volunteer is the "build season" in January and February during which the team has six weeks to design a build a robot for that season's game. These are the weeks when mentors are most needed, so I have committed to be there from 6-8 two nights a week.

I felt pretty good all week, but come the weekend I was toast. Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday I was glued to the sofa. Fortunately I no longer get skin-crawlingly tired like back in October, but I get tired enough I don't feel like moving. And I sigh a lot.

The weekend was far too short. This week I've got reason to be at the office Monday through Thursday but I'll work at home on Friday.

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