I’m learning a bit more about myself as I get closer to being a Dad. It’s not that the approach of fatherhood is causing me to mature or reach inward and uncover spiritual truths. I’m learning that I don’t wind down well.

This post will dovetail with another that I had gotten 3/4 of the way through when I thought this idea up. I’ll post that companion piece tomorrow to make up for the fact that I just straight up have not felt like posting on time this week.

My schedule at work has been winding down (that’s only half true, it’s more the case that the type of tasks I’m undertaking have changed—my days remain full, just paced differently). Since really Janelle could pop at any point between June 4 and, well, now, I’ve been trying to shift my normal responsibilities around to my co-workers in anticipation of my leaving. The tasks I’m handing off are the ones that cannot wait, the standard day-to-day tasks that help overall business roll along at the office. The tasks I’ve found myself with instead are the more research-heavy, investigative tasks that require their time to be measured in hours, rather than minutes or seconds. I’m not really handling the transition as well as I’d hoped.

I had in my mind that I would train everyone else on my tasks and then kick back at work for a couple week and put out fires. There would be Hulu to watch and games to sample. I’d make some phone calls and take off early when I had the time. I was expecting Shangri-la. I didn’t count on my brain. Stupid brain, I’ll get you one day.

Instead, it’s looking like I’m more like a shark. I need to keep moving to operate at capacity. If I slow down, I get lethargic. Relaxing isn’t so much a recharge as it is a trough.

Apparently I’ve become so wired for fast action and crisis response in the workplace that trying to actively avoid the tasks that would require that kind of reaction seems to be putting me in some manner of withdrawal. I find myself sitting at work and shuffling things around. I have tasks, but they are leisurely. No one is breathing down my neck about them, and they produce no immediately discernible result as feedback. And when I try to move to a distraction to occupy my time I find myself feeling guilty about it, knowing that I’m just putting off another task.

That feeling extends to the house. Even if Janelle and I are clearly in relaxation mode and she’s watching TV while I poke around on the computer I can’t stop myself from looking up every few minutes and asking if she’s doing okay and if she’d like to be doing anything else. Or if we need to tackle some task to get ready for the baby. I can feel myself being antsy and, again, a bit guilty that I’m not busy crossing something off a to-do list.

It seems I’m the geekiest kind of adrenaline junky.

Probably good news I have to take care of a baby pretty soon.

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  1. #1 by Jason on May 13, 2010 - 8:04 PM

    Man… I think LIAI wired me the same way. After leaving, it was weird… nice to decompress for a couple of weeks, but as soon as I realized that I wasn’t on vacation, it was a bit depressing. I frequently had *nothing* to do. Fast forward to recently: I have so much to do at work, I can’t possibly keep up. I think they finally realized that I can do things they’ve wanted to have done forever.

    The other nice things about being swamped: The more work there is to do, the more work seems to get done. back to your whole thing about being lethargic. I think it’s just the nature of the beast.

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