Reds, Vitamin C and Cocaine

June 5, 2009 · 5 comments

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.

Read the last bit of “No Coincidences Doesn’t Mean Obvious Reasons” and the last bit of “A Bit on Isolation and Revelation” and I think you’ll see what I mean.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott June 5, 2009 at 07:30

Ted I can feel your pain as I have been busting my ass at work too. I find diet and sleep to be very important to keep me from getting bogged down. I also change my music during these stressful times from punk to reggae and ska helps me keep a positive mental attitude when I’m on my thirteen day of work in a row. I have a pattern during these times of getting bitter all caught up in my ego which gives me a manic energy boost but when its done I’m in a bad mental space. I’m trying to just get things done and keep a smile on my face, its pretty hard sometimes but I’m doing a pretty good job lately. Oh well back to work


BRIAN June 5, 2009 at 13:46

I wonder what would happen if I snorted some vitamin C…


Avia Venefica June 5, 2009 at 14:17

@Brian: Actually lower grades of coke are cut with C, so not much at all happens, unless you count bleeding noses and that brain-on-fire sensation.

Snorting Smarties candies…now that’s a whole ‘nother ballgame.

@Ted: Great post, as usual. Particularly the last paragraph. I can relate.


Scott June 5, 2009 at 14:26

And thanks to ted I have been walking around work singing over and over again living on reds vitamin c and cocaine all fucking day


Didi June 8, 2009 at 04:46

Ho, ho, ho.

Okay… so I’ve been lagging on the commentary. Time, babes, time! We all need it.

This is a rather timely post and it your “drink more water” comment on my blog has a lot more sense to it now.

I know, I know…. drink more water and spend some time at the gym – that’s a good recipe for being more productive at work. It’s just easier to reach for the stimulants (hiya Red bull!) than think about anything else.


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