I've been looking to mid-October with growing anticipation, knowing that the end of full-stage development for this project was in sight and that afterwards maybe, just maybe, the work hours would decrease enough to give me the feeling that I could relax. This isn't likely now, not when I've had hundreds of hours more development requirements dumped in my lap over the course of three weeks, without being given any extra time in which to accomplish them until recently. There'll be at least another month of high-stress, insane hour days, at a minimum.
I miss having time. I used to read, to sew, to do logic puzzles and listen to music. I used to have time to bake. I have already had to give up all of my online role-playing commitments and am realizing that I won't be able to get back into that venue until probably after the wedding. At least that loss isn't so great - I was losing my enthusiasm lately anyway. But the rest is harder to give up for so long.
The frustration level at this project has running dangerously high for too long. We're working toward a moving target - hard to determine an actual completion of effort when the design isn't even frozen yet. It's not just my group that's in this situation though - everyone is similarly stressed, running on nerves gone ragged and very little else.
Wednesday night they had a team-building event. Dinner, followed by a team-building exercise guaranteed to get us to work together in a light-hearted and meaningful way. Or something like that. The exercise involved little circles of people who were given a bag of marshmallows. We were *supposed* to toss them back and forth to each other. In a way it was the fault of the woman who was trying hard to explain the rules over the noise of the crowd. She asked that we all show her our marshmallows - to make sure we had enough per team. Someone threw theirs, and then all was lost. Marshmallows flew thick through the air. Everyone was laughing, ducking behind chairs, diving to scoop up more ammunition as the tiny puffs skittered across the carpet. The restaurant had put us all in a separate room which, as it turned out, was a smart choice. As I was batting a deluge of marshmallows back at someone I happened to look toward the doors. A cluster of restaurant employees stood outside, laughing. I'm sure we looked a sight - an entire room full of adults engaged in something as childish as a food fight.
It wasn't quite the team-building event they'd planned. But it accomplished something far more telling. We've all been pushed and pulled too thin in too many directions. At least this time we had marshmallows to throw to break the tension. I'm not so sure that will work much longer.