A cat by any other name




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Meow to me

The alarm woke me with a jolt this morning and, momentarily disoriented, I rolled over and was surprised that Richard was already up - I hadn't even heard him. Then I remembered that he's back in Portland, same as every week since September, and same as it will be til mid November, and I sighed and poked the snooze button, unwilling to get up just yet. The cats, sensing a moment of weakness, swarmed. Sebastian draped himself over my feet. Allegra curled up beside me. Tangerine settled on my pillow and, for once, didn't try to eat my hair.

Last night was the first night I've been able to sleep without tossing and turning for days now. Work keeps creeping in as soon as I close my eyes, circles of 'what if we did this' dancing with 'what if they don't do that'. It's been frustrating, lying there on my pillow, unable to get it out of my head. Last night was welcome relief, but perhaps that's because yesterday's 13-hour day brought a lot of things finally to a head.

Over the past week, we've been asked (the IT team leads) to evaluate a number of different scenarios, each one involving backing out some of the work we've already done, some more extensive than others. It's taken a few days - little groups of us crowded into small rooms with white board pens and spreadsheets, trying to ignore the feeling of being blindsided as we attempt to determine just what this would cost us, and all the while not quite sure which scenario would finally be chosen, just as we knew that all this effort we were going through could just as easily be tossed aside as well.

It's all very well and good to say that I'll do my best to leave work at work, but in times like this last week, it's next to impossible. I can't help worrying over what the final decision will be - how it will affect my team, what effort will be involved in now going through and telling them to undo some of the hard work they've already done. No wonder it spills into my head at night, when there are no other distractions to keep my thoughts away from it.

Yesterday though was a turning point, of a sort. At least a direction has been chosen. That, combined with the exhaustion of the long day, finally let me sleep without any thoughts of work at all. I may have dreamed of it, but I rarely remember dreams, and since it never woke me, I don't care. For the first time in days I woke this morning feeling refreshed and alert. Alright, so I did let the cats sucker me into lingering in bed just a bit longer - the lure of a sleepy cat purr is often too seductive to resist - but only for a bit. Today will be better and less stressful. I have to believe that. I may be deluding myself, but at least I still have hope.