Weeknotes S06E01

Here’s the weather: mostly love; partially work. Emotional state choppy, sunny later. Partially void. See terms and conditions for details.

Food for the soul

Last weekend you made a laksa. It was a poor imitation, but the most important thing about it was that it had a spoonful of peanut butter in it.

When you break up with someone – when you’re broken up with – funny things tear the wound open. Weird things. Hot chocolate made on the stove, not in the microwave. A raven. Their name, written on the side of a bus, because God is real and she hates you.

Peanut butter.

You stare it and you remember the time you got a meal for free because the server assured you there were no nuts in the meal and then ran over screaming not to eat the bread. You think about the way they looked at you with pure shining love when you confidently told the takeaway place that nuts were absolutely forbidden.

You think about the way you stressed to your family that meals would need to be changed because anaphylactic shock would put a damper on any wedding, and then turned up without a date.

You eat toast with chocolate spread, or yoghurt, or you don’t eat breakfast at all for a week. And then two weeks. And then six months.

It’s weird, how habits form.

One day you buy a chocolate bar you’ve been craving for ages and then you bite into it and remember that when you had that chocolate bar before you spent the day being unable to kiss them.

They kissed you everywhere but your mouth and when you got home you scrubbed your teeth and swore before gods and men you’d forbid yourself from it forever rather than suffer another minute of being unable to kiss them.

And they laughed at your honest flamboyance and the way you wrap “I love you” in flowers.

You’re suddenly not so peckish, but a bit of peanut sticks in your gum and bugs you the rest of the day.

And then suddenly one day this meal kit box you’ve got delivered – because asking yourself what you want to make is exhausting, because cooking is only a joy if you’re doing it for other people – has something called a laksa in it. And the ingredients are laid out, and there’s a little pot of peanut butter.

And your heart just sort of…thumps. Or maybe your ears work better. Or maybe you’re inside your heart, somehow, staring up at cavernous walls and wondering how to get out.

And then you sort of…sigh. And you make it. And you taste it.

And it’s the first time you’ve had peanut butter in 6 months.

And it’s the first time I’ve had peanut butter in 6 months.

And it tastes salty, and my cheeks are wet, but overseasoning isn’t the end of the world. And the next mouthful is better.

And the next is better again.

ʃ

I cannot write you
I am lost, adrift in you
Playful, blue-eyed love

Work

I am doing a lot of it. I am enjoying it immensely: it stretches my brain and I come home exhausted and fired up. It is easy to fall into the trap of working every hour for almost the same reason that at one point I was writing code at 3am. There is a tight feedback loop between completing a task and starting the next one because they’re small, and so you can get a constant stream of happy brain chemicals every half hour rather than the ones you get after an hour of sweating through the gym.

I should keep an eye on that.

A lot of my work seems to be about organising things – about making order out of chaos. It’s a completely forlorn hope – chaos is the natural state of the universe – and yet tidying my little corner of it makes me supernaturally happy.

I’m still trying to catch up to the entire brief – there’s so much to learn it’s sometimes completely overwhelming. Just when I think I’ve got a decent understanding something new whacks me in the face and I have to go and uncover it. It’s a non-stop learning experience and it’s so much fun.

The space I’m working in is evolving and changing almost continuously, and so my role is a weird shape-changing creature that picks up and sheds new responsibilities. No, not a creature. A sort of…triaging or sorting machine that also takes on aspects of the thing it is sorting; a co-evolving adaptive robot.

I’m supposed to be going to GovCamp tomorrow. I’m excited to see the people there but I can’t help thinking that after a week of very intense days perhaps more work stuff is not what I need. I’ll see. If it’s too much I’m sure I can drop out at lunchtime and quietly potter home.

And if I’m going to make it at all, I’ll need to get some sleep. See some of you tomorrow.

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