Well, I've got a feeling that the wave I've been riding is cresting, and I'm about to start a hard, fast, and painful drop back down.
I started seeing the signs this weekend. Nothing big, just some little things, like a check bouncing because my account was overdrawn by $2, or having an end-of-summer cold that makes me feel just miserable enough to throw me off track from my normal routine.
Well, now the downward slide is starting to accelerate.
Work was rough today: I had to send the president of the company the same report three times, because each time he found something wrong or missing from it (in both cases, not my fault; I was just passing on the bad info I had been given by others). Another person, who by her own admission I shouldn't have to allocate more than 10% or 15% of my work time, is starting to fall back into old habits, and that 15% is starting to creep up to around 30% or 40%.
The big bump was my boss coming back from his management conference with the news that we are going to proceed with a particular project. This fills me with both joy and dread; joy because we have been delaying this particular project for nearly a year, and dread because I just know they are going to want to take a six to eight month implementation process and condense it into three and a half months. I've got a very bad feeling that I am about to re-enter the wonderful world of 12 hour days and 6 or 7 day work weeks. I could even see them telling me that I have to cancel my vacation and holiday plans.
Life outside of work is starting to take on some ominous tones. I've got some medical bills about to come up, credit cards which I am not really paying down like I wanted (and in one case, starting to run up the balance again), and some home repairs and auto maintenance that I have a feeling are about to start demanding a lot more attention.
I also have some decisions to make about my future, having to force myself to start looking at my long-term plans. Job, home, family, finances, friendships, even my health are all in play right now, and the choices I make (or let be made for me) in the next three to six months are going to have some major ramifications. We're talking life-altering, road-not-taken, character-defining events. No matter what I do, I know there is no absolutely right course of action. I feel that I about to enter into a series of compromises, which means I'll never be totally happy with the results.
Maybe it's just the end of the summer, or maybe it the inevitable cyclical nature of life, but I just have a feeling in the pit of my stomach that life is about to get a lot more difficult.
The black-and-white world I had lived in for a while is gone, and I'm the better for it, but the bright palette of colors that I've been painting my life with recently is about to be dimmed, filled with a whole lot of shades of gray.