Friday, January 9, 2009

Moving Forward

I have high hopes for today, even though it didn’t start all that well. Among other things, the sun is shining and it looks like a beautiful and bright day. After yesterday’s post and musings, the day was moderately productive, though both physical state and mood were subdued. Even before we got whatever this bug is that’s going around, I’d planned on today being a quiet day devoted to finishing up the week’s work. It’s a good thing, too, as neither of my goals for this week would be within reach without it. The crud we’ve got caused us to oversleep this morning—which we never do—so our morning routine was disrupted. Instead of us all interacting quietly before Shea goes off to school, we had a mad rush to get done all that needs doing. I suppose it was interacting with each other, just of a different sort, though I have come seriously to dislike being rushed any more. Even so, surely today will bring some progress on these two goals. They were originally the goals for the week, and the minutiae of life have intervened at every turn.

Today, after the morning’s the email is handled, it will be turned off except for lunchtime and whenever the end of the day arrives. That will be an interesting experiment and one I’ve never run before. The first half hour after that will be for the long-term project (book chapter), devoted only to setting up the next bit of work. Then, the goal for the day will be to get the short course that starts in March all charted and the book order submitted. The pieces are all collected, it just needs some concentrated thought to step through the sequence, assignments, etc. It’s a well-defined and limited task, and surely (surely) with a couple of hours, it can be completed. It always has been in the past in that amount of time and effort. It’s been hanging over me, so getting this done would be a huge boost. Given the consequences of the bug we’ve got, likely the day will involve a nap, too.

The conundrum of whether to work on the big stuff or the little stuff first always confounds me. If I postpone the small (usually gratifying) tasks in order to work on a large project, often nothing gets done. Starting with the small stuff means that it gets done, but then it postpones ever starting on the major projects, which thus do not progress. It drives me crazy. So, the thinking behind dedicating a half hour to the huge first project is that, in a deadline-linked time, the next step can be mapped out so that there’s an achievable step all ready to go the next time it gets picked up. Knowing that, and knowing where to start when its turn next arrives surely will help advance the ball down the field. Email, of course, piles up and consumes time. It’s usually enjoyable, it’s interactive, and often useful things get done. Hours vanish.

Smashedpea, who wrote a comment on one of this week’s post, had a meningioma removed from her frontal lobe in August. She documents some interesting parallels in her experience of brain surgery and its aftereffects, including grieving and similar moods to what I’ve experienced. Her contact provides a useful reminder about the ubiquity of Google’s webcrawlers, since it must have been the new “about” that we added (including the word “meningioma”) that flagged the existence of this space here in the ether. The world is so inter-connected in ways that aren’t always front and center to our thinking. This has been a nice unintended consequence from our sprucing up the site. I’d love to see the pictures her surgeon took during surgery. She also references a video out there of a craniotomy, but I don’t have the right plug-in and need to think a bit more about whether I really want to see it. Or not.

Meanwhile, ever hopeful, hello Friday.

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