The summer is winding down here. Hurricane Isaac is pushing clouds our way, the mornings have the faintest and most temporary coolness, and area football games already dominate social settings. 100 years ago the hill folk would have started bringing hogs down out of the woods for that pre-slaughter corn fattening. Now we fatten ourselves on beer, hot wings, and nachos. And that old sun keeps going round and round.

I would like to ascribe my irritability to an oppressive late August heatwave, the kind that forces the hunting dogs to retreat under the house during the day and causes the cottonmouths to be even more aggressive than usual. But here in the New South, with our air-conditioning and high ceilings, that excuse no longer holds up. A more accurate explanation of my irascible outlook is that these last few weeks have been disappointing. I continue to be perturbed with my situation at work, but more importantly, I am unhappy with myself.

July ended with a bang for me as I knocked out writeups at a much more rapid pace than ever before in the last two years. I actually got back up to output levels from the 2001-2002 timeframe. This began with jessicaj's daylog, which elicited a positive response from me, and for two weeks had me grinding out nodes. This was soon followed by my trip to Dallas, where I had time to publish several more writeups. But my return home, and to work as well, left me in a negative frame of mind. My wife has been pushing her way through her first few weeks of a new teaching job, and so I have covered more of our home and parenting responsibilities than normal. This in itself is not a big issue, I have a great home life, my daughter is healthy and full of love, and my wife is beautiful and smart and our time together is filled with conversation and intimacy. But this extra demand on my time above my usual father / husband time removed a chunk that is generally set aside for decompression from my job. And I really needed to decompress.

I had thought that last weekend would have provided the necessary downtime, as my wife had agreed to go solo Friday and Saturday night with my daughter so that I could spend that time with my group of guys for our fantasy football draft weekend. Not that I'm a huge football fan, quite the contrary, actually, but in the past I have often regretted not having more opportunities to interact with my friends outside of work and so I agreed to play this year almost entirely based on the draft weekend. Unfortunately, probably 80% of our conversations revolved around work. I didn't leave with the relief from work that I had hoped for but I'm still thankful for the time with the guys.

*****

After taking a break from this, rereading it is frustrating. I know that more than anything my frame of mind affects what enjoyment I get out of each day. Reading this, it is easy to acknowledge that I'm letting myself get caught up in things unnecessarily. So I am going to try and take a step in the right direction and just put the headset down and stop here. I hope everyone has a great weekend (a three day one for a lot of us here in the States!) and I hope at least once in the next couple of days each of you holds the hand of someone you love.

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