I have a handful of thigs on my mind this evening, so I’m going to just go ahead and pass them right along to you, dear reader, m’kay?
The first is that the Grateful Dead had it all wrong with the whole “livin’ on reds, vitamin C and cocaine” line. And I say this with a vast amount of experience behind my statement, and also with just a little bit of dismay. As you know, I’m passed “burning it at both ends” several miles back. I’ve been living in the land of “there is no candle” for many years now. I wouldn’t have it any other way. One can’t suck the marrow out of life without first cracking the bone – and that often requires chipping teeth and whatnot. Are you following my metaphors ok?
I’ve been kicking ass at work. I told my boss in the beginning of the year that I didn’t have a problem working as hard as I did last year during proxy season, but that I didn’t know if it would be possible for me to work any harder this year. I specifically said that I didn’t know if I had another gear in me. This was in the context of me requesting help – another person to teach some of the more routine tasks for which I am responsible, so that I might have more time freed up for the more non-routine situations that I’m often called upon to handle.
Well, I’ve found that I do, in fact, have another gear. It might even be two or three that I’ve been running with for the past several weeks. And I have to say that it’s due in no small part to the fact that I’m keeping my body properly fuelled. I’ve been providing my body with the energy it requires for this sustained mental and physical exertion I’ve been undergoing. And when I say “properly fuelled”, I’m speaking of FOOD and WATER (and, to a certain extent, sleep). Reds, vitamin C and cocaine are poor substitutes for three hots and a cot. They might do well to keep one awake and partying for days on end, but they don’t do much good for one’s brain.
During undergrad and law school I ran on stimulants, but rarely fed myself well (if at all), and hardly drank any water. I managed just fine back then, but am amazed at how much more work product I’m turning out right now, and the quality thereof.
Another thing I’m doing differently from back then is that I’m taking more meaningful breaks from work. Whether it’s a few deep breaths while looking out at the meadowlands behind the office or making a phone call or being sure to read some fiction while at lunch, I’m inserting short periods in my day where I’m getting my mind off of work. Instead of forgetting things or dropping one of the many plates I have up in the air at any given moment, this has helped me to prioritize and look at my work with fresh eyes after such short breaks.
All in all, I think that this Ted is doing much better than the old Ted was doing back then. I’m much less likely to freak out than I used to be. And all my talk of self-doubt aside, I’ve got more self-confidence. The more I’m able to take a break and come back to my work with a clear mind, the better I am able to see solutions to problems. And all ego aside, the more often I see that my solution is correct, despite whatever nagging sense of self-doubt I might be constantly carrying with me. I may be inexperienced in many things related to my industry, but I’m extremely experienced at problem-solving. And I’ve had lots of opportunities to expand this experience – with more and more success every day.
I have clients with whom I started out on the wrong foot that are now thanking me profusely for my help and support. And I have to say, dear reader, that it’s because I’ve been keeping my nose to the grindstone and getting my work done. Sure, I’m still tempted to look up every five seconds and wonder when the accolades are coming, but the less often I do so, the more often I receive actual genuine accolades. Ones that seemingly come out of nowhere. And these are the best kind to get.