Posted by: GeekHiker | August 30, 2010

Bad Monday Blues

As Mondays go, today was not one of my better ones.

Of course, I’m always hesitant to say that I had a “horrible” day.  I’ve often found that when I go over the top in describing how bad any particular day was, the Universe has a way of responding “Oh, yeah?  You thought that was bad?  Just wait til you see TUESDAY, bucko!”

Given that, I’ll just say that today was an exceptionally, um, frustrating day.

Frustrating at work to be sure.  There are simply too many projects coming down the pipe right now, and too little of me to go around.  Too many last-minute requests (“Really?  You waited until this afternoon to tell me a new user is starting tomorrow?”).  Too many projects.  Nothing out of the ordinary in the IT/office environment, I suppose, but it was all just ingratiating today.

The fact that I had worked all day Saturday probably didn’t help much.

Nor did the Class-1 headache I had most of the day today.

After work, I went to the gym, and had a… well, I suppose you could call it a workout.  I felt weak and out of shape.  I had trouble pulling even my normal weights, and wasn’t feeling that good kind of building-muscle pain, just pain.  Like self-torture pain.  My cardo bike ride warm up was worse: I felt tired and unenthusiastic the whole time.  I still had my headache, and after only 20 minutes I found I was staring at myself in the mirror, feeling like a tub of lard, and wanting no part of being there.

So I left.

And drove home, feeling less than enthusiastic about the leftover (but healthy!) salad I was planning to have for dinner.  And even less than less than enthusiastic about cracking open my book for a couple of hours of studying.

As I trudged up the front steps and put my key in the door, I noticed something: it was sunny and the breeze was light.  This is nothing to sneeze at: the June Gloom has been exceptionally bad this year, lasting through much of July and in to August.

I walked inside, threw down my stuff, and went to the kitchen.

I stared at the bag of lettuce in the fridge.

I sighed.

I grabbed my keys, left the house, and walked to the nearby park.

A father and son were playing soccer.  Another father was teaching his daughter how to catch a softball.  A family was practicing over at the batting cage.  Other than that, the park was empty.

I lay on the grass, staring up at the sky.  Wisps of clouds moved overhead, the thin kind that are more veil of vapor than white puffy cloud, sliding and tumbling along at impressive speed.

I lay there and stared up at them, watching them rush by, ignoring the book I had brought.  I closed my eyes, but didn’t really nap.  Just listened to the wind in the trees overhead and felt the warm sun on my skin.

Thirty minutes later, I headed home.

I felt better.

I decided to save the salad for tomorrow, pulling some frozen Trader Joe’s Chinese food from the freezer instead.  After dinner I found myself, if not exactly enthusiastic about studying, at least not dreading it.  And my headache was gone.

Thirty minutes outside, was all that I needed, all that I was missing, apparently.

This, of course, is a good thing.  Good knowledge to have.

I find, though, that I’m having a difficult time ignoring a thought in the back of my head.  The one that wonders, as I study another thick IT book, that if only 30 minutes outside is so beneficial to me, is an office job where I really belong?

After a day like today, though, I’m in no mood to ponder that thought, and have pushed it as far from my conscious thinking as possible.




  1. “I lay on the grass, staring up at the sky. Wisps of clouds moved overhead, the thin kind that are more veil of vapor than white puffy cloud, sliding and tumbling along at impressive speed.

    I lay there and stared up at them, watching them rush by, ignoring the book I had brought. I closed my eyes, but didn’t really nap. Just listened to the wind in the trees overhead and felt the warm sun on my skin.”


    I feel better just reading this….

  2. That proves it – humans are solar powered.

  3. Funny, I had the exact same response as Ms. H — I read that paragraph and almost felt like I was outside myself.

    Well, maybe you don’t need to change your job as much as your environment, like, work from a laptop in the park or something.

  4. hmm, i could picture you as a park ranger. but in the meantime, IT pays the bills and you’re good at it. and you do like it, don’t you?

    i know where you’re coming from. if i don’t spend some time outside i feel all lethargic and grumpy. an after-work trip to the park should be mandatory.

  5. “is an office job where I really belong?”

    OMG. I have been thinking the exact same thing for weeks now, I will spare everyone from my ranting, but after I returned from a short getaway trip last week in which I received not 1, Ohhhh BUT 3 phone calls and text messages from work (all non essential, all ridiculous), then driving back to the LA bumper to bumper traffic, not only am I thinking I need a new career, but a major lifestyle change.

    I am seriously thinking of opening up my own taco stand and moving to the beach. Although I can be physically and mentally pushed to no end, I’d at least it want it to be for something I am absolutely passionate about.

    Do you have time for any kind of weekend internships or volunteer work where you can be outdoors and do the things that you love so much?

  6. This was a wonderful post!

    I would keep an open mind to your work situation. It sounds like you’re overworked right now and need more Geekhiker time just being out in the world to recharge before going back to work.
    Big hugs from afar, friend.

  7. it really is amazing how sun & the outdoors can make us feel. sorry you had such a bad monday. but now it’s almost friday!

  8. Ms. H – Aw, shucks. And I kept thinking the whole time I wrote it “man, my writing skills have gotten rusty!”

    Homer-Dog – would I get more power if I shaved off all my hair?

    Spleeness – If only I could, but I need the power of the desktop for studying since I’m using virtual machines 😦

    BlakSpring – Park ranger: maybe. IT pays the bills: yes. Good at it: sure. Like it: um…. And I wish it could be mandatory, but it’s been foggy every afternoon since!

    Ruth – Doesn’t everyone in an office job get stir crazy from time to time? I say go for the taco stand. As for volunteering, unfortunately, my weekends are filled with studying…

    MissMcCracken – I’m doin okay. Could use a couple more hours in the day, though.

    Seine – It is. Now if it would just by sunnier! LOL

  9. You can hike in Austin. We have hills here. I’m just saying. We have outdoors, too. Sure it’s 100 degrees with 98% humidity, but it’s OUTSIDE!

  10. I’ll ponder the thought for you….NO! An office job is not where you belong. I feel like you should be leading hikes in a National Park or something. I bet you wouldn’t get the headaches doing that sort of thing!

    I’ve read before that even 5 minutes a day just sitting quietly outside is beneficial – like meditation. I love how it totally shifted your perspective. I tell Mr. W I’m going to meditate in the backyard every day after I move in.

    I think last Monday was a bad one for lots of people…in fact, the whole week was sort of crappy. Thanks goodness for the long weekend!

  11. Aww– this was a good post. I think we can all use a little more time outside to help stablize our busy lives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: