Sometimes I get singly focused on my work. It’s all I can think about. I know its happening. I even help it along by shutting myself off from everything else. It’s easy to do at work. I go into my office, shut the door and I’m in my own little cave; a computer and a can of soda. You know you’ve really got it bad when you forget about the soda. That happens to me a lot. Eventually I’ll look away from the monitor. Maybe its to stretch my eyes or arms or back. Maybe its because I’m stuck on a line of code. Whichever, I do it and I spot the can. Then I remember getting it from the cooler and I realize it’s not even open yet. I’m thirsty. I’ve probably been thirsty for a while. I go to open it. It’s warm. I must have gotten that can a long time ago. What time is it? 4:00pm already? Did I eat lunch?
On really bad days I can never break away. Sure, eventually I throw in the towel, pack up and drive home. But I never really leave it behind. It’s got a hold of my head and just won’t let go. I try to re-integrate back into the family when I get home. It doesn’t work. Everyone knows that I’m not really there. Sure I converse, but with dead-long pauses between statements. My mind is back at work, working the problem. Sure I play mindless games with my son, and I’m glad of it too, because my mind is busy elsewhere. Still, it gnaws at me and I find myself counting the minutes until he’s packed away in bed. I know eventually the house will be still and my mind be able to stretch out and relax, and think about more complex things that wouldn’t fit before.
This is not really a good state to be in. Betsy tolerates it sometimes. Sometimes she loathes it. I can tell, but I can’t seem to control it. The tumblers are spinning. The lines are being written even as I daze at the television, even as I sleep. They are piling on, filling to capacity. I worry that I can’t hold them all. I know that last one leaked away. Maybe I’ll remember it tomorrow. Maybe I won’t. Tomorrow will come eventually and I will be able to release what I have, download back to the machine in a rapid fire punching of keys.
I really hate it during these long stretches of focused, mind-sapping productivity. I really do. I’m hell bent on getting that last bit done and the code stable again, seeing those tests run and passing, every one an affirmation. I really just want to check the thing in, to let go of it, so I can rest and regroup, to have closure. Then I might just be able to break free, disconnect, go offline for a while. I think I might enjoy it.
What do you think?