Highs and Lows

Whew, where do I start? The last 6 weeks or so has been a bit of a roller coaster. For all the obvious reasons: Lauren departing, semester starting, bavacade polishing, life happening, staring into Oblivion,  etc. But I also had the brilliant idea of brining on a new platform (ReclaimPress) and making a big migration push (necessary). Yeah….ambitious.

Since some time after September 1st up to this moment has been a weird, haze-like fever-dream of work, punctuated with some moments of escape. Craziest of all, a part of me has been feeding off the energy. There are few things more gut-wrenching in our line of work then a server offline or a migration gone wrong, and we had a twofer the last few days that I may have just dug us out of. As things got more intense so do my moods, and I have been battling the mania, trying to stay grounded and not give in to going sleepless for days and winding myself up into a ball of insanity. But the taste of it now is so sweet, that it is almost hard to resist. I’ve been walking that minefield carefully, and with some much needed drugs and a little help from my friends, I’m still here!

But it has been an interesting series of highs and lows, that mirror my mental state. I mean in terms of highs: more then a couple of big migrations went super smooth—almost to the point of surprising; the arcade is nearing on perfection in every way; amazing trip to Veneto to see Veronese in a Palladian villa; some side-of-desk experimentation with offloading media to S3 and using Cloudfront (new and exciting for me) to server over alias domain; interest in our .edu hosting continues to grow; we may have had the best community chat ever at Reclaim yesterday; and hiring Jason Teitelman (an amazing addition to Reclaim) and bringing in Maren Deepwell as a consultant to save my working soul; and that is just to name a few things.

But the lows, that sense of dread (but also feeding off it) when the migrations I carefully planned go south and folks are rightfully unhappy. I used to be able to use Tim and Lauren as body armor in these moments, but that is not the case anymore. The team stepped-up as they always do, but in moments like these you begin to question your own value, and that can be a deep, dark hole to crawl out of. One that impacts my family more than anyone given my work and my life are fused, there is no separation, there is no health, there is just bava. Sometimes that can get scary, but I’m feeling the lows ebb and the highs ground out a bit. And the self-awareness that I know this is part of how my brain works and it can be harnessed and directed is truly magical, it is the closest thing to a sense of wisdom I have come away with in these 52 years. I’m in search for a milder mental sine wave to ride through the rest of October, and beyond, and maybe, just maybe, get that perfect arcade I have been chasing 🙂

This entry was posted in blogging, It Came from the Bava, learning. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Highs and Lows

  1. Tom says:

    If 0nly jobs were not tied to the money necessary to live.

    I contextualize all this stuff as best I can. Memento mori and all that jazz. Maybe I do it better now than I once did.

    And you don’t have to just compare things to the fear of dying! Turns out many things are complex and built on more and more complex things (until you reach the turtles). Giant corporations with teams and teams of people fail at this stuff all the time and with far more money involved.

    Caring less about more is a positive outlook.

    Additional psycho-babble will be 5 cents.

  2. Eric Likness says:

    Best part about working from work (and not from home for me anyway, I only wfh 1 day a week) is the beau-ti-ful compartmentalization it provides. When I leave work in a car, that’s it,… I’m done. I don’t care if a fire started, or fire trucks are blocking my path. No super hero this side of the Hulk will stop me from going home and ending the day. Like that old Offspring song goes, “Come Out and Play”, gotta’ keep ’em separated.

  3. Sending you love and strength and all the good vibes the universe feels fit to offer up. I know some of those deep dark holes.

    And also my complete gratitude and respect for all you do and share with so many of us. Even in the midst of the complex and messy, here you are being nothing but your most absolute wonderful self. #BigFan

  4. Lauren Heywood says:

    You have loads of wisdom in that noggin of yours. But I agree that the one I’m most grateful for is you managing to find a way to recognise where you’re at before your brain spins away from you.

    Find a way to rest up and take care of yourself until you’re on more even ground. You have a whole bunch of people who love and appreciate you (regardless of whether work tasks go well or not).

    On another topic I heard a joke the other day:

    “If an infinite number of monkeys were given an infinite number of typewriters eventually they would write: “Hey, hey, we’re the monkeys.”” – Jim Miller

  5. Tim Owens says:

    I’ll always be around to don the body armor for ya whenever you need (though to stretch the pun….more and more I feel perhaps most unsuited for it). You’ve got an amazing team and I see all the great work you all are doing. Listening to you all chat last week about the horror stories of years past it’s rather comforting to know that a lot of them end up with laughter! In the moment sure as I’m pulled over on I-95 fighting the terminal on my phone it sure ain’t funny but it’s an adventure and a story. You’re living it man, and living it well I might add. Love the bavacade updates and keep your head high. I look forward to our regular chats and echo others that I appreciate your open honesty right here on the blog. Hold all your calls!

  6. Alan Levine says:

    I will echo Tim here on applauding your honesty here at home on the blog. When those dark worries come in like crushing waves it’s easy to forget how many out here have been so positively affected by your true to form presence. I count among my most fortunate paths to have our roads meet. Arcade on!

    Now about your blog theme… 😉

  7. Brian says:

    I gave you a virtual hug after you posted this on Mastodon, but just wanted to add a few things.

    I do know a special anxiety and self-doubt that occurs when things break down. Lately, Trubox and the OpenETC server have been getting hammered by bots trying to hack sites (we think a special flavour of “rapid reset attacks” might be happening) and it has caused things to clog up. It also it some firewalls are now blocking us. Or, a plugin we have no control over will start messing things up, because of a bad update, or not being updated…

    Users just know their site isn’t working. My team gets frustrated because they have adopted an ethos of building on open platforms, and then their work gets harder because they are doing things the way I hoped they would.

    I end up feeling both responsible and helpless. And I wonder why I keep putting myself in the same position for more than twenty years now. It feels thankless sometimes.

    I am partly responding again here because of Tom’s observation “Giant corporations with teams and teams of people fail at this stuff all the time and with far more money involved.” I can’t help but note that when tools like Teams or Sharepoint throw problems, and frequently, people don’t seem to respond the same way.

  8. GNA Garcia says:

    Stay cool honey bunny.
    Just look at all these wagons circled around 🙂
    Much love y un abrazote! G

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