A sense of hopelessness has overtaken me. There are strong pangs of my feeling overwhelmed, as though a dam is about to burst and I’m stuck in the spillway. I tried and tried to plug all the holes and make repairs but it’s useless. I don’t know what else to do but accept my fate and surrender to the collapse.

There’s just too much in my head. Too many problems, too many things that “need” to get done and not enough time for me to catch up. At work there’s a multitude of problems and things that I need to catch up on. We are making a shift in a product back to an older version as the new version is having too many customer problems. Really, the reason for that is management, in their infinite wisdom, didn’t take the time to adequately sample and test the parts and okay the change with customers. These changes were made over two years ago, before I had anything to do with the product. The returns, complaints, etc. are extending back to that era as well. In that light I’m glad I didn’t play a role in causing the problem, but it is definitely in my court to fix. Frankly, I hate working on the day-to-day engineering tasks. I’d much rather be working on “new shit” and leaving the productization and commercialization to those who like those kinds of challenges

I’m coming to another realization about work. I hate my desk relocation to nearer the “center of power”. I now sit right next to the CEO’s office. The office doors are angled enough that I get to see the guy scowl, and worse yet, hear him talking to himself like an OCD crazy person on a daily basis. I also am starting to realize a disconnect between the other Ph.D.s and myself. I’ve adapted a little more of a traditional hierarchy, being the most senior physicist and engineer aside from my boss (fortunately he’s not the CEO). I have an urge to be more social and collaborative; letting the technical nerdiness flow collectively.

Along those lines I just finished reading the book “The Innovators” by Walter Isaacson. It discusses the people and collectivism necessary to realize the personal computer and getting it connected to the internet. Admittedly I’m more of a low level programming/hardware/technology development guy (although I am starting to teach myself Java and am looking at developing some apps outside of work). I really resonated with the collective stories where it took the tribe to make tech happen. This is particularly true for the Intel founders and how they worked. Even the “C-Suite” was part of the cubicle village. This has me wanting to tear down all the walls and build more of a “work commune” at least in a limited manner. The book and the current stress I experience has me thinking I’ll move back to the nerds’ lair. That’s where all the action is anyway; with the team.

The next stressors are home and holiday related. I can’t seem to keep up with keeping the place clean, getting laundry done and all that stuff. I now dread getting together with family as my mom will ask if my basement remodel is done yet. Even the thought in writing that last sentence has my hands notably stiffer and I’m pounding my keyboard harder. Fuck her.

I have some floating holidays I need to use before the end of the year, i.e. next week, along with the actual Christmas holiday. Maybe I can get some of the house stuff done while I don’t have the kids and have a little extra time; as well as the Christmas shopping as well as ending world hunger. It’s hard to keep things simple when life requires a good amount of toiling.

Lastly, I’m finding myself disconnected with what gives me joy. Exercise, playing guitar, having a little bit of a social life, taking time and doing writing and meditating. I don’t even want to date at the moment. Working out seems too hard (I guess that’s a depression thing).

Ultimately, I just want to crawl into my shell and sleep until spring, but I can’t. It’s important to keep taking the steps forward, even if I feel like I keep stumbling.