Vacation status report

Stanford does a two-week mandatory shutdown over Christmas (this year slightly longer than that due to holiday placement), so I've been on vacation for about a week now, and I have about half of my vacation to go. I've unwound enough from work and started to get into the holiday mood of thinking over the past year and making tentative stabs at life organization for next year, so this seems like the time for a small bit of reflection.

First, it's amazing how much better I feel when I'm not conscious of being behind on routine tasks. I reached Inbox Zero on Monday after some concerted effort. This morning, I caught up completely on writing reviews for the first time in at least half a year and I think more than that. (I have them queued for posting over the next few days.) Both of those feel like huge milestones that have significantly improved my mood.

Second, I was doing better in concrete terms than I was doing in emotional terms. I was feeling overwhelmed and quite far behind, but I actually wasn't that bad off. One week of vacation has me completely caught up on the routine things that I've committed to. (There are other things I want to do and will if I have time, but those are outside the routine committments.) This implies that I was putting too much emotion, but almost enough work, into staying generally abreast of life.

Third, I've not been going into a deep flow state while working on things, and I've been missing that. Over the past couple of days, I decided what I most wanted to do is program on something that was entirely mine and that I could do properly, and decided to finish the test suite work for pam-krb5 that I've been working on off-and-on for about a year. I finished a nice, releasable chunk of work tonight and have mostly finished resynchronizing code between that project and C TAP Harness and rra-c-util, and am about in a position to do a release. I've been able to concentrate and do a huge amount of work in the past week: 59 commits and quite a lot of new code and complex debugging.

This qualifies as a great week of vacation. I'm feeling more relaxed, I've gotten a major chunk of work done, and I'm feeling in the mood to plan and rearrange and analyze life patterns to make a fresh start next year. I hope everyone reading this is having as good of a holiday season.

Posted: 2011-12-24 00:32 — Why no comments?

Last modified and spun 2014-08-09