Up and down

I have often found that in times of personal stress, when there is something very sad or emotionally difficult in my life, I throw myself into work, and in those times I achieve spurts of enormous productivity. But I generally can’t sustain the pace. The constant weight of what is happening outside the work continues to pull on me, and eventually the fun to be had from escaping into the work starts to diminish.

In contrast, there are times when I’m feeling ecstatic. A relationship might be working out, or I’ve heard good news about somebody I love. In these times I am filled with energy. Ironically, I often deal with this excess energy in the same way – creatively. I throw myself into my work, charging up whatever hill happens to be nearest. In this case, the energy can continue to flow through me and into the work for much longer periods of time.

I find it strange that I deal with Thanatos and Eros in such similar ways. They are quite opposite feelings, and yet my psychic struggle to seek higher ground operates in similar ways under both circumstances. Yet, I wonder, is there a fundamental difference between the fruits of these very different energies?

For example, only I know the chronological back story behind the many little Java applets on my NYU home page. I made some of them in times of great sadness, and others during the slightly manic good times. I am not entirely certain that even I would be able to tell which is which, although I could find out in a moment, just by checking the date when each was created.

I wonder whether a person who did not know me would be able to tell the difference.

2 Responses to “Up and down”

  1. Dagmar says:

    I admire people who can throw themselves into work in times of personal stress and end up with something creative. I really do.

    I tend to throw myself into sorting out papers on my office desk in such situations and do stuff like writing formal emails, that should have been written for some time, do some bookkeeping, just only easy formal stuff where I do not need to think and do not really need to communicate. I am highly functional in such situations, but living totally planned. I call those days get your stuff done – days.

    My team always gets a warning from me on those days, saying please don’t come up with an issue today, because every third person will be shot when he or she comes up with an issue and two have already been here. 😉 So they at least can avoid to get a harsh or dry answer, when they come up with a problem.

    If you find everything clean and tidy in my office, you can tell that I am in really bad mood.
    Seems like I can’t stand chaos outside, when there is chaos inside. :-)

  2. I feel more or like the same often.
    I found general rule of thumb (and of course oversimplification and generalization):
    darker colors and darker humor, no shades or just not much emotions = working at night or while being depressed,
    bright colors, clever in a funny way = working during day or having fun/positive attitude.
    For moody/depressive applets I would choose:
    arms, orange, fiend, glop, vnt, blend, borg, puff, tentacle, holodust?, rose
    For positive attitude:
    bunny, omni, sid, unicycle, ghost, santa-monerah, pianoapplet?

    So here is my pick, I wonder how close I am to the truth :)

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