The Back Stairs

I just posted a couple of the BarNotes stories. It doesn’t REALLY feel like I’ve written anything since I put a header and a footer on them and, some token editing aside, posted them largely as is.

So what now? Tough to tell.

Turning around fast enough to catch yourself.

On Tuesday, while I was here writing away I received my new desktop computer and some parts for my cyberdeck build. I got home took some unboxing pics and set the thing up. By the time Cigargoyle’s stream started (10:00 my time) I was absolutely giddy.

At first I’d written it off as New Toy Excitement. But as the evening rolled on (and it was an absolutely hilarious stream) I realized that it was something else.

My brain went over the writing I’d done over that day, the “The Price of Growth” post, about falling off the wagon, slipping and sliding and such, and I realized that I’d wound up so much frustration and angst in my failing desktop that it had affected my mood to a far deeper extent than I’d realized.

That had me feeling a little hopeless and making bad decisions (the great Frozen Pizza incident of Saturday comes to mind) which of course exacerbated the problem.

Now that I have the benefit of hindsight it’s pretty damned frustrating. And it highlights the conclusions of my Tuesday afternoon post much more strongly.

To have something like that sneak up on me like that, highlighting so clearly how I’m misapplying metacognition is just…well, frustrating really is just the word. Especially when I know that if my attention was pointed in the right direction I’d have figured it out, worked through it, compartmentalized the frustration and been, on the whole, fine about it all.

A long time ago I wrote a cute little Java application. It would sit in the background and on a random timer between 15 and 45 minutes long (so I couldn’t QUITE predict it), it would pop up a window and ask “How do you feel?” and give me a little text box where I could write something and hit enter. It would save a timestamp and whatever it was I wrote as a line in a file.

Then at the end of the day/week I could go back and look through the file and get a bit of a profile of my moods over time.

It was a really useful little tool. But I only had the thing running for about six months.

I wonder if something like that wouldn’t be in order. I’m not sure I need the periodic interruption (though I may.) But a tool that would force me to self-examine in a bit more of a focused way that I’d be able to catch myself before this shit got out of hand.

Granted it doesn’t happen all the time and I am in every way that can be expressed in language better off now than I’ve been in fucking decades.

But again, as I mentioned in that post from Tuesday: Spending energy to take up the slack when you’re treading water isn’t enough. How much better off would I be if I applied that relentless self-examination to which I’m so prone when I didn’t NEED it?

It’s the problem of “The Gentleman’s C” that afflicts smart yet largely unmotivated people. You do enough work to get by because that’s so damned easy, that you never really get going on what you’re atually capable of. You never really see how that would all pan out.

And there’s really no excuse for it.

Unfortunately I don’t have any huge conclusions other than “yeah, more of that” and it’s 3:30. The guys from Bible Study have started to arrive, so I’m going to post this and shut down for the day.

I’ll figure it out.