Now is the weekend of our discontent.
This, for me, is the Great Anti-Climax Weekend.
Finishing a product involves a mad, mad rush to the end: working hard, worrying about bugs, feeling like some problem will arise that requires entirely re-working fundamentals of the system, and generally freaking out about finishing the damn thing. The adrenaline pumps into my system at a rate matched only by the high-octane caffeine injected by the IV drip system rigged up to keep me propped up at my desk.
Large, recorded, live-streamed conference presentations enjoy the same fate. Pulling together content to present (which is particularly fun when the product is a moving target, being developed in parallel with the presentation), making diagrams and slides to make inherently complicated concepts easy enough to understand for the wide gamut of people in the audience, writing applications to illustrate the concepts, and generally deciding what the heck to say about every topic also pumps sufficient adrenaline into my system to run the Hunger Games.
Doing both of these things in parallel is enough to make my head explode, were it not for the size and hardness of my skull. And finishing off the journey by hopping onto a stage, which packs its own special brand of high-wire, Russian roulette excitement (Am I saying anything that can get me fired? Did I remember to zip up after visiting the restroom?), brings the energy to a delicious fever pitch as it all comes together in those final hours of laying all of these efforts out for everyone to see.
And then, suddenly, it’s over.
The tornado is in full-destruction mode, trees are flying everywhere, houses are picked up and hurled around (“Auntie Em! Auntie Em!”), and then it’s quiet. It doesn’t dissipate slowly; it stops dead as if it never happened. The trees are replanted, the houses are back where they were (“There’s no place like home!”), the sun is shining, and everyone around you is having normal conversations about groceries and walking the dogs as if you awoke from a dream and none of it ever happened.
Then I spend the next few days trying to get my feet back under me. It’s like running full-tilt on a moving walkway right off the end and onto the floor, which refuses to move along with you. The first step is fine, then your body realizes that it’s going twice as fast as it can handle and knows that something needs to change quickly to avoid having your face hit the floor instead of your feet.
This is that weekend for me. My mind is still running at the moving-walkway pace, while my life has stopped moving underneath. I’ll spend this entire weekend thinking that there must be a million things to do, and feeling unsatisfied because I’m not getting any of them done.
I should start working on the next product just to channel the energy. Or do some standup just to keep the stage adrenaline going. Or write about this bizarre feeling that always accompanies the end of these kinds of projects, just to get it out of my system.
Or maybe, just maybe, I should do nothing for a while, just to see what it feels like. Nahhhh.