This has been a busy week at work after last week's busy busy week. A month ago I was in something of a panic state, having a devil of a time getting queries to run, feeling like I'd be adrift at work without my boss and concerned about the very near-term future. Things now are objectively much busier, but I'm not panicked--even though objectively I sure can't say that I'm less stressed. Part of it is a feeling that at work we're moving forward rather than spinning wheels; structure is being imposed on the reporting systems that wasn't there, making both query-building and report-writing faster.
The other part of it, I'm beginning to suspect, is: vitamins. Vitamins and a slight change in diet. I've sharply cut back sugar and high-carbohydrate snack foods, and every workday take a multivitamin with ginseng and ginkgo biloba, and an extra vitamin C. (I may add an extra vitamin A, which supposedly helps build up resistance to hay fever--something I'm terribly prone to.) Ginseng, I see, is said to improve "overall energy," particularly in times of fatigue or stress, and ginkgo is supposed to help with concentration; I can't say whether they're helping or just along for the ride, but the circumstantial evidence is for the herbs, not against.
I realize I'd become quite a snackaholic, simply because the workplace kitchen is stocked to the gills with bags and jars of free cookies and crackers and chips and pretzels. I don't think I've seen a scale since I've been out here, and I'm sure I've put on weight I'd like to get rid of. Cutting out snacks and sugar drinks, and generally reducing the junk food tropism I let myself develop, will help a lot. (So will exercise. I'm working on that.)
The faintly ironic cap to all this is that I still think my work situation is unstable. My contract reappeared--I've been working without one for months. The new contract is for four and a half months, starting in July. Which means it runs--well, two more days. Based on what's going on at the office and on past experience, I expect it to be renewed yet again, but I don't have any real guarantees. Next year, after Christmas vacation, I'm going to make a push to either be made a real employee with benefits and a slightly higher salary, or to start working more like a contractor, setting my own hours and working from home when possible.
Now--speaking of setting my own hours--on into the office.