Figuring out this work flow thing… eventually.

Picture of newspaper with crossword puzzle and glasses and pen lying on top
I need to discern patterns to live effectively. Sometimes it feels like it takes forever to figure it out.

Ha! I’ve finally figured a few things out. I’m a “late bloomer” in many ways, developing skills at a different rate than other non-autistic people — social skills, logistics skills, and just figuring things out at a different rate than other people seem to expect.

The crux of it all is that I’m a heavy-duty pattern-thinker, and it takes me a while to identify patterns — including exceptions to rules. It takes me years of observation, sometimes, before I get to a place where I’m feeling expert enough to predict what’s going to happen… where my anxiety is at a manageable level… and I can just relax and settle into my life.

I’m currently at this place, in terms of my day-to-day responsibilities. I’ve got a full roster of activities at work, and I’ve finally figured out that I don’t have to attend every single meeting on my calendar. Yeah, I know — you’d think that I’d get that, by now, but I can be extremely literal and rigid when it comes to my obligations. And frankly, my determination to keep every single commitment I make has worked in my favor many times, over the years.

But as I look at my calendar today, after 2 days off work and hundreds of emails to catch up on, I realize that some of that stuff is optional.

Plus — major development — I realize now that I don’t need to be fully engaged in every single meeting I attend. Many meetings I attend cover a variety of topics, and I don’t have anything to say about some of those topics. Or they have nothing to do with me. Or they’re informational only. So, I can actually be doing other things at those moments. Like catch up on emails. Like browse through Twitter. Like do a little web searching for subjects that fascinate me. Walk around. Get something to eat or drink. I’ve perfected my technique for calling in to conference calls with my mobile phone, while doing conferencing on my laptop.

Balance is good.

So is realizing that I don’t have to be 100% ON, 100% of the time.

That’s just exhausting, and I’m tired of being so exhausted every single waking moment.

Of course, this all takes time to work out. And sometimes I get so wiped out by the situation that I can’t continue long enough to really figure it out. I have to change jobs, because I’m in danger of failing so catastrophically that my “career” (as it were) could be derailed and I’d never be able to hold my head up in the field where I work. Those times are the worst — a horrible in-between place where I’ve gotten far enough down a path to partly understand my situation, but I’m not far enough to  really get it. And being so depleted and disoriented, that I’m incoherent in job interviews.

Ugh. So horrible.

But every now and then, like now, I get to a point where things “click” into place, and I actually have the sense that I understand my situation and I “have a feel” for it. And parts of the whole become second-nature to me.

Like right now… as I blog while half-listening to a conference call that doesn’t have 100% to do with me and my work.

Yes! It’s Friday

I’ve got a million reasons to be happy – I’m Free!

I’ve never been a fan of the whole TGIF thing. Seems to me, if you’re really that unhappy with your life — so unhappy, that the best day of the week is when your regular life is about to go on hold — you should really do something about your life, in general. Why stay stuck, if you can make a change? It’s not always easy, of course, but it can be done.

I still feel that way.

But today I’m really grateful it’s Friday.

‘Cause truth be told, I’m kind of stuck in the job where I am now. It has its high points and its low points, like any job, but I know it’s not where I want to be for the long term. I’m just sort of tolerating it right now.

And I’m in that state of mind that’s all about just getting through this last day and then taking a break from it all and getting back to my own sort of experiences.

Thank God It’s Friday, indeed.

Actually, I’m incredibly lucky, in some ways. I’m able to work from home when I need to. So, I’ve been working from home most of this week. I’ve only been in the office one day, that I can remember. Or maybe it was two? Can’t recall. And that’s nice. It’s when I can remember each and every moment of a week, that I know I’ve had a hard time.

But when I can’t remember… that means I’ve been in a bit of a flow state. And the sh*t that’s hit the fan hasn’t stuck to anything.

That’s a great state to be in.

And here I am.

Well, speaking of work, I should get to it. Just really glad to be here, today.

Very glad, indeed.

 

Friday!!! Woot!!!

jellyfishWhat a relief. It’s Friday.

Oh, wait — I still have a full day of work ahead of me, and I have to drive to the office through all kinds of rain and wind because I have meetings with people I don’t really like that much. And I’ll have to work again this weekend, because I’ve been so busy in meetings that I haven’t had a chance to actually do much.

Okay, so it’s Friday.

Woot.

Actually, it’s good, because most people who live around here work from home on Fridays, so the traffic shouldn’t be bad.

And the office should be pretty quiet.

One of my projects, that’s been on and off track for over a year, now, finally got a last-minute reprieve. I feel like a shelter cat who just got adopted, a day before my time ran out. Yeah, it’s that extreme. I’ve been in a whole lot of pain during this project, over the past year, and it hasn’t been helped by everybody at higher levels jockeying for position.

Ugh.

Well, that’s fine. At least my project isn’t more screwed up than the other projects it’s connected to. Everything is pretty much of a dumpster fire, these days — all because people at the top had unrealistic expectations of those of us doing the work, and the people making the decisions drastically under-estimated the complexity of what exactly we’re trying to do, here.

I’m sure I’m being cryptic, but there’s only so much I can say about all this.

In the midst of it, I’m trying to cultivate a sense of equanimity. It’s hard. Okay, for me, it’s next to impossible. I’m excitable. I’m hot-headed. I’m passionate about what I do and why I do it, and I don’t countenance slackers very well. I also dislike being cut out of my job, pushed aside by people who don’t know what they’re doing. Augh! So painful.

Oh, well.

Just another day in the life, frankly. Everything around me is challenging and painful — it’s been that way, my entire life. I don’t know who shuffled the “deck of cards” that life was dealing from when I came along, but any way you look at it, I got kind of a crappy hand.

Of course, everybody feels that away. Everybody feels like they’re overwhelmed and can’t deal. Like they’re a victim of something or another. Like life is stacked against them. Like they’re alone and having to slog through everything all by their lonesome. I can’t think of anyone I know who genuinely believes that they got a sweet deal in life and can handle everything that’s on their proverbial plate.

So, as a reminder… There’s no crying in baseball.

Bottom line, we get what we get, and it’s our job to make the most of it. If I don’t like something, then it’s on me to change it. Don’t have enough energy? Do some strength and endurance exercises. Eat right. Get enough sleep. Feeling overwhelmed? Well, manage, already. If I can see what’s wrong, then it’s on me to do something about it. I’ve been around too long to be able to make excuses anymore. Maybe 20 years ago, I could. But even then, I knew better.

In fact, my entire life has been structured around getting myself in a position where I could actually manage my own situation, construct a life of my liking, and address the conditions that vexed me.

So, it hasn’t been all bad. And to be honest, when I look around me at everything I go through on a daily basis, I actually feel like a bit of a bad-ass. Tough. Resilient. Resourceful. Adult, even. I didn’t get this way by accident, and I didn’t get this way by  having everything go in my favor.

Quite the contrary.

So, Friday’s here, and it’s gonna suck. Oh, well.

I’ll just get on with it and see what I can get out of it.