Run until you puke, shop till you drop, and then there is think until your head is about to explode. I’ve been working a lot lately and the work has been extra challenging mentally. I think maybe my brain is a bit out of shape because while the work has been challenging it is certainly not harder than other tasks I've accomplished over the years.. But for some reason this is the second worse episode of brain drain.. Brain drain is my made up term for a constant or mostly constant headache that stays for days and is brought on by days of intensive mental labor. For some reason the pain is worse than the time I woke up in a panic realizing the company I was working for was about to spend over a million dollars on my idea., and I had to make it work.
The worst episode I ever had was when I went back to school to finish my bachelors degree. I had been working for a year and spent a year cruising through technicians' school before that. The plan was to get a technicians degree.. and then get a job and have a company pay for the bachelors. With the first kid on the way, it seemed like a good plan. But once I got the job, I met several people who had the same plan. Most of them had been working on the degree for over 5 years.. I quickly decided to just go back to school full time.
But after two years off .. full bore engineering classes and the calculus and differential equations that went hand-in-hand had me sucking air and holding my head. I swear I had a headache from the third day of classes until after finals. It may have been the hardest three months of my life. So although it has only been a few days, the constant headache is getting old.
But I keep getting up and going to work. There is usually a pay off at the end.. Like the time I was drained after taking an organic chemistry test, sitting around the chem office afterwards with my study group. My fatigue caused me to say something like, “That was brutal! Anyone want to go get a steak?“ The first response was not from a member of the group, but by the high school girl working part time as a secretary.
All my friends declined with a snicker. I think they had already noticed the connection between the two of us. My truck was broken so she drove… didn’t get out of the car… I had to go back and open the door…So this was a date… I paid… we went to a dance (some would call it a stomp)… and were pretty much inseparable ever since.
That mental exhaustion paid big dividends. The schooling has paid for the food and clothes necessary for the twelve major dividends of the other event. There are ten patents hanging on the wall from the idea the company spent so much money on. Wonder what good will come out of this one...