I had delirious sleep last night, constantly dreaming about solving problems in code. My dreams have ceased to be visual, I mostly hallucinate voices, and when imagery does come up, I see geometric shapes inside the black frame of the screen. The various dreams I had led to successful outcomes, and I woke up before sunrise possessed by a desire to get things going. I got to the desk before even preparing coffee, and worked for three or four hours before hunger got the best of me.
I prepared coffee and a plate of oatmeal, which I ate at the desk, and pondered how to continue: there was a challenging UI/programming task ahead and I was in a good state to accomplish it, but I was unsure about the path I was going take. My mind and body were in tension, like when you want to jump into a cold pool but can’t summon the courage to do it. Finally I thought: I’ll just prototype it and see if it’s this is the correct way to do it.
I blazed through the prototype, and I was surprised at the speed of my fingers, but it wasn’t a flowing sensation, it was a “let’s get over with this as soon as possible” feeling that got me there. When I observed what I had done, I thought: not ideal, but it works. I filled in the functionality blanks, and when I begun using it, it felt quite deficient.
I decided to hit the gym, not really wanting to go, but knowing I had to put my mind somewhere else, at least for a while. I arrived and didn’t feel like working out, and wondered if it would be a better idea to go back home to work instead. But I was already there, so I lifted some weights, and with each exercise I felt my mind clear up and the voice inside my head fade out. I thought: I will not overdo this today so that I came come tomorrow, I need this every day! and I left the gym quite happy.
I have a friend who gets especially cranky when she doesn’t eat, but what’s disconcerting is that she had no idea that she’s hungry. “You’re like a child!” I would tease her, “you don’t listen to your body so you don’t know what’s happening to you!”. I felt like I needed to accomplish some real progress to leave my rut behind, but it turns out I’m simply being unaware of myself. I’ve experienced the positive effects of exercise and meditation time and time again and yet I seem to forget when I’m stressed.
I came back home and sat down to meditate. Finally I was able to find some degree of inner silence, I felt my mind and my body relax and I realized I was dozing off when I begun hallucinating voices again. I went to bed for a nap, and then decided to undo my previous work, this time without any attachment. I salvaged the functionality and threw away the UI. I was in a better mood to experiment, and though the maths are way above my head I decided to dip my toes into isometric perspective to solve a visualization problem.
After a couple of missteps and with a bit of patience, I was able to get what I had in mind. It looked beautiful! Then mom called and I caught up with her and with my sister. I came back to work for some last touches and saw that this is the best solution, even though it still requires some additional work. I was pleased. Even though it is too early to declare the bad rut gone, today was better than yesterday, and I know what to do for tomorrow to be better than today.