getting ahead of the writer

ever have chunks of time that go by and you’re not really sure what all happened?

I keep a log file these days I call “dan log” at work and write down all the things that I did - not really sure why, besides sometimes it feels good to go back and find all the little things I did while I felt like I “didn’t accomplish anything.”

life is a little bit in that “going by in a blur” state right now. a friend mentioned once that sometimes he feels like he’s writing his story and then sometimes he’s living it. I like that framing1. Imagine that part of you is living life as another part of you is writing it, much like Gromit riding a train while laying down tracks. Right now I kind of feel like I’m getting ahead of the train tracks, or like the writer/tracklayer is on autopilot. It’s not pleasant, but it’s mostly bearable.

(the reason isn’t a mystery: I’m just working on a new project at work. it’s kind of big, it’s a lot of manageable tasks instead of one big unwieldy task, and it’s kind of important and deadliney. I’m not super used to those things, so I spend more time working and it’s stressful.)

Another thing that’s stressful: I got a new keyboard. I think I used to type about 100 wpm. This keyboard is split, columnar, tented, thumb clusters, and all kinds of things that are probably ergonomically good. But that means it’s a learning curve. I think I went down to about 40 wpm and that is so agonizingly slow, I feel like those dreams when you are running but you can’t run. I’m back to about 70 or so now, so that still feels bad but not quite so bad. Epistory was pretty fun; a little cheesy but still the best typing game I’ve played. Typeracer is still fun. typing.io is what I really need: practice with all the colons and brackets and arrow keys; those are still rusty.

legit conflict extra-guilt

One thing I’m learning in the process: a certain kind of feeling about a recurring engagement. Let’s call it “legit conflict extra-guilt.” The way it works is this:

At this point, I’m feeling Legit Conflict Extra-Guilt. What will inevitably happen if I don’t address it is that I will feel guilty but keep having conflicts, one way or another, and I’ve got to cut my losses. It’s a certain kind of feeling that is both like “nah, I’ll totally make it next time, see, it was a legit conflict” but also “ooh I really don’t have time for this.” Now that I’ve learned this feeling, when it comes up I know that I must admit that I don’t really have time for it right now, I was too greedy in signing up, me grasp exceed grasp, and I’m sorry for that but I will generally not be at event Y.

It’s neat to start to recognize some of the dumb tricks my brain pulls on me!


  1. I think I’m using it a slightly different way than he meant it. Maybe he reads this; if so, sorry! ↩︎


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