distraction might not mean death

I had one big project on my list this week: figure [this thing] out. In fact, after a brutal end- and beginning-of-year travel season, I had planned to take the week off, but then realized I had a whole week with no meetings scheduled and thought it would be better and I would be happier if I could get to the bottom of [this thing] once and for all (or, at least, for the time being).

I limited my meetings and tried to keep a clear head and get decent sleep, so that I could crack the puzzle of [this thing]. I found a pencil and made little charts. All week, I’ve been writing and erasing and heaving great sighs and making notes to myself and clearing my desk of eraser shavings and generally feeling like I haven’t gotten anywhere and would never be able to solve [this thing].

I should probably note that I’m a bit of a stickler about glueing myself to my desk to solve problems, since wandering leads to distraction leads to moral decay and a life of laziness (obviously).

This morning, in the midst of this mental turmoil, I thought I should make tonight’s dinner. I’m going to the gym this afternoon and rehearsal after that, and so it was a right and productive thing to do to make soup now, to avoid buying pizza later. So, I stepped away from my desk and my eraser shavings, and stood in front of the stove for a few minutes.

And somewhere between “saute the vegetables” and “add the wine,” I knew what I needed to do about [this thing]. I knew how to word it, I knew where to look for a similar example, I knew how to frame it, and I knew that I would be able to work with it.

I got the sense that everything was going to be okay. That I wasn’t an imposter, after all, that [this thing] was manageable, that I was capable, and that smart people would help make sure [this thing] was the best it could be.

So there you have it.

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