Apr. 15th, 2017

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Burnout and victories

Another week of work burnout is down to its little nub of ash (though topped off nicely with an unexpected Friday lunch with [personal profile] melebeth). There were some victories, two to be precise: I got one of my junior folks promoted after writing an appeal that the appeals committee actually complimented, and I struck a deal to hire another person (before the headcount I was borrowing could evaporate or be yoinked on its string back to California, as they are wont to do). For those playing along at home, yeah, that means I also lost one appeal and, with it, a promotion case: my first such loss as a manager. Thoroughly expected, I might add; the engineer in question really wanted to put himself up, though, and I will defend to the death his right to do that.

With those top priorities taken care of, I'm just down to the angry buzzing list of emails and design docs that want attention. It's hard to focus on them; burnout means that I feel overwhelmed and filled with heart-stopping ennui all at the same time. I'm trying to acknowledging and observe the feelings while still doing the things people expect, and setting up for that four-week vacation. Five full weeks remain between now and then, so I guess self-care will continue to be a huge priority for a while yet.


This weekend I finished reading Sapiens, which I enjoyed for its biological focus and absolute lack of species-centric snobbery. A taste:

Most members of agricultural and industrial societies are domesticated animals.... Today, the society called New Zealand is composed of 4.5 million Sapiens and 50 million sheep.

Handstand presses off boxes!

And I also made some handstand progress, consistently straddle-pressing off of 24" boxes at the gym. I know the height is unimpressive, but it's a start. I had a breakthrough when I realized that I can press off the wall but have a harder time starting on a horizontal surface -- so I put my toes just over the edge of the boxes, so that I was pressing away from the side instead of off the top, and voila. If I can improve on this over time, it'll just be a race to the bottom.


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