[thelist] When life and coding are incompatible...?

matthew garrett matthew.garrett at snet.net
Thu Nov 9 10:35:57 CST 2000

It all depends on the personal crisis.
If it is literally a life or death matter (for you, or someone you love),
then life wins - and work gets handed off. If it's more of an emotional
thing, then it's a different and more difficult issue.

Just over a year ago, I broke my neck on the first day of vacation. I was
lucky enough to retain the use of all my body parts, and could even resume
limited business the following week. I could participate in phone meetings,
I could think, but I could NOT sit in front of a computer and accomplish
anything. It was physically difficult, and mentally unworthwhile. It was
months before I could be productive for more than a few hours a day. My
clients were quite understanding, of course (broken necks are great for
sympathy amd wow! factor). Anyway, the experience reminded me that life is
more important than work. It wasn't my work that got me through the spot, it
was my friends and family - my life. People who were willing to put little
parts of their lives on hold to help me.

On the other hand, during an emotional crisis two years ago (read:
spectacularly doomed relationship), I just tried to keep my head down and
grind through work, but I wasn't that busy at the time - and even then, the
train of thought was easily de-railed. Plus, I had no choice, there was
nothing else I could do.
If spending time on the crisis can change the outcome, then decide how much
it means to you, and how to do it. If there's a will... and all that.

best of luck,

> Let me paint for you a scenario:
> You are under deadline, and while that deadline is distant your To Do
> List leaves you juggling china...
> And into the middle of your life strides a personal crisis.
> Just wanted to know:  how do y'all on the list preserve your ability to
> drive a train of thought when this happens?  (In the past I've had the
> luxury of taking time off because I could see it coming, but not this
> time.)  Call me a wimp if you like, but in any event advice would be
> welcome...
> =====
> Ben Henick              |  "In the long run, men hit only
> Web Author At-Large     |  what they aim at.  Therefore,
> www.io.com/persist1/    |  though they should fail
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> persist1_pdx at yahoo.com  |  high."  --Henry David Thoreau
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