So, back in March, I wrote this:
This last month really kicked my ass. The first week of March, I was totally exhausted.  It was the half-way point for the school year.  My parents were back from vacation (which meant picking them up from the airport and dealing with traffic both ways; about 4 hours of driving total).  I had a fairly difficult math test (got an 87%; not happy, but livable).  Work was just being overwhelming.
Yesterday, I was working from home and took a late lunch to drag a friend (who is currently unemployed and basically alone in his apartment all day while his hubby is off at work) out to get some fresh air and socialization.

While we were out, he asked me how classes were going.  I told him I'd just finished my summer class (Psych 1, unofficially an A that will be official in a week or so) and was ready for a break.

"Well," he said, "because around March you were in pretty bad shape. ... I mean, and even asked about you, because we could all tell you were pretty far gone."

A few thoughts about this.

1) February, March, and April are my "down" months.  For whatever reason, since I was 13, they've been the time of year when I seem more likely to get into a funk or just get stressed out.  I know this and can prepare a little for it, but there it is.

2) I didn't realize I was so obviously overloaded.  I mean, I tried to keep up appearances at least to an extent.  I made and effort to hang out with the guys and goof off when I could.  But I guess it still showed, and apparently showed a lot.

3) I'm... not really used to having people express concern about me like that.  I like that they care that much, but it's still weird.  I'm usually the one who notices details like that.

In the same vein, I had a meeting on Tuesday with my division (about 20 people).  Our executive director is a social worker, so he comes once every few months and does a "check-in", where the question is an honest, "how are you feeling in your core?"  People are generally pretty open and truthful about both work and home stress and how things are going.

This time, I ended up being last.  While everyone else was talking, I didn't really think about what I was going to say; when it finally came to be my turn, I just paused a second and said, "I'm tired."

And it's true.  June was going to be a busy month at work no matter what; projects just worked out that way.  Then a few social things hit at the same time (a bachelor party, a wedding, some other stuff).  Then Pulse happened, and all the fallout from that.

At this point, I don't feel burned out.  I don't feel like I did in March - there's no depression-type dissociation or deadening.  I'm just exhausted, socially and mentally.  I'm on vacation next week, going to a resort in Palm Springs and hanging out with friends a little, but I need the break badly.

It wasn't school this time; I could do a Psych survey course in my sleep.  Hell, I was correcting the textbook and sending notes to the professor (who forwarded them to the publisher) while we were going through the chapters.  It was just too much to do with work and friends.

I don't know that I'm going to have any more 14-unit semesters any more; mathematically, I should be able to do 12-13 each semester without issue (I don't want to go below 12 or I'm no longer "full time").  But I definitely need to get back to taking my week off every quarter.  I need the breaks.


I plan.  It's what I do.  I make predictions about the future, decide which results are most likely, decide which results I want, and then make plans.  Sometimes it's just about walking through a crowd.  Sometimes it's about driving down the freeway, or getting a new computer, or going on vacation.

And sometimes it's about how to escape a crowded place if someone starts shooting.

It's possible that many people have heard of the Abbey.  It's "the most popular gay bar in the world", according to some.  It's certainly an icon in West Hollywood and has been for decades - about as long as I've been going there, actually.  A big chunk of it is a building that used to house statuary (the Terra Cotta Inc, which Cooley bought years ago), and the whole front is brick pillars with rod-iron gates.

Many times, I've sat there and wondered what would happen if someone started shooting.  I know about a third of the staff, including some of the security, and know they have contingency plans for some things.  But someone could just drive by and shoot into the crowd.  Someone could come in before security starts checking people.  Someone could manage to get in the back door.  A lot of things could happen.

After the shooting at Pulse this weekend and the separate capture of a heavily armed man in Santa Monica reportedly heading to West Hollywood, I assume a lot of people are going to be making plans.  Well, fifty less than would have before :(

But I'm having trouble reacting to this.  I don't think anyone knows that this exact kind of situation is something that has run through my mind, and I can't talk about it without scaring people who are already reasonably scared.  So, I haven't really said much.  I probably won't.

But I think my plans are going to get a little more explicit.