Exhausted and Anxious

A few weeks ago, we released a significant update to Sifter. (Rails 3, Ruby 1.9, and a bevy of associated gems and other components in case you’re curious about such things.) Since then, there have only been a few fleeting moments of peace and quiet. My Pavlovian response to the email alerts has gotten a bit out of hand.

The first couple of weeks after the release I felt physically ill due to the extended hours and the pressure I was placing on myself. You see, it’s simply not possible for anyone to be harder on me than I am. That’s both good and bad. Maybe more bad than good. Anyhow, it was a little bumpy. From obscure encoding bugs to even more obscure performance bugs, (you know, the kind that only show up in production) it’s been a wild ride.

More often than not, going to bed only crossed my mind when I recognized that being at the keyboard would likely do more harm than good. Of course, most nights, going to bed didn’t equate to getting sleep. There were just enough emails to prevent any deep restful sleep. There were rarely any that required immediate attention, but I wasn’t taking chances.

I’ve never worked so hard or been more physically exhausted by work in my life, but do you know what the crazy part is? Despite that exhaustion, I’ve never been more excited or anxious to get to work. The boring part is done. Now it’s just about delighting our customers with long overdue improvements. I know I need to catch up on sleep, but now I don’t care. I don’t want a break. I just want to ship things and make people happy. Nonetheless, I’m going to take a break tomorrow. Or maybe the next day. We’ll see.