Three good things:
1. I really had a rhythm this morning. I woke up like bam, swept downstairs with everything and packed up and dressed and was out to work in time to make an earlier ferry than I usually do. As a result I got extra time to do stuff at work.
2. My previous manager is a great guy. I can really talk to him about work stuff, and get detailed answers pertaining to the internals of the company—something my bartender can’t provide. We talked about how everybody makes a trade-off when deciding on what job they want to hold: financial benefits, satisfactory work, and health considerations. For me, health is the base of all my decisions to do with work, and that is fixed. My boss also reassured me that few people can go through all the years of pager duty I did and not need something different. Even if they’re healthy.
3. I’m constructing a Spreadsheet of Power at work. All those years in data-driven, metrics-focused parts of the company, and I’m bringing the benefits to my new little corner. Sure, my work isn’t the work I dream of, but I do contribute something they’ve never had before. Also, I finished manually code reviewing over 45 files.
4. Dungeon Command arrived, which I mostly look at as expansions for the D&D Adventure Game series. I’ll probably run a report on Sunday (or even Friday night) on how they look and how they play with the original game.
I owe my bartender and best friends. I’ve begun to cope with my feelings of dread and butterfly-twisting as my birthday approaches through a combination of letting the feelings flow without resisting, dissecting why I feel the way I do, and using logic to work through the sensations without being overwhelmed. Example effect and thought process:
Chest-clutching dread fills my mind and I start to panic.
I ask myself: where is this feeling coming from? Like in Babylon 5, I keep asking “where does this come from?” until I reach the kernel of truth, the driver behind all my other ills: anticipation of bad things happening on my birthday.
I let the feelings flow through me, and examine each layer (or at least, the ones that I can; it’s not like the feelings are conducive to thinking completely straight).
On one level, the deepest, is the dread of my parents coming, a reaction from all those years of horribleness. Logically, they can’t find me, they aren’t coming for me, and all that stuff is in the past and can’t hurt me today.
On another level, I am afraid of being alone in the face of the dread, part of it the paranoia my father instilled in me and that I let continue. Logically, I can mostly dismiss the dread thanks to previous point, and also I have various ways to combat loneliness.
On another level, I am afraid of the future: of meeting new people, of exploring new places, which I have to do if I’m going to fully explore the possibilities of other teams. Logically, there’s no reason to be afraid—that’s the baseless paranoia from the previous point taking over. People aren’t out to get you, in other words. (Unless they are, but this is very rare.) I can also practice what I’m going to say and what I’m going to ask.
For some reason, the feelings then went away, possibly with their metaphorical tails between their legs. I was free of them. Is this cognitive therapy? Likely, even though my bartender never uses that term.
Can I change for the better—by which I mean, think things through logically, possibly in data-driven manners that I apply at work?
I think I can. With practice, I can. And that’s another thing to look forwards to—this weekend is going to give me lots of chances to practice.
What troubles me is that I’ve failed before to change, but that’s the past. Moving forwards is the only reasonable, dare I say logical, direction to head in.