Even though I take time to do stupid things like make pictures in Photoshop.

He sees all.

This may sound like an odd admission, but it’s been years since I have felt good about my work. For most of my life, I have had no trouble staying on top of things, keeping long hours, being highly productive. I enjoyed hard labor.

Others call it “workaholic”: I call it “work reveler”.

But I hit a wall a few years back, and my Gotta evaporated.

Lots of reasons for the old Gotta to go, most of them personal and health related. So, no further explanation required, I guess.

But boy is it scary to realize you can’t remember things from one hour to the next. One minute to the next.

I used to dazzle friends (I like to think) with the ability to remember long strings of numbers, and I’d roll out pi like a party trick. Then I couldn’t remember my four digit pin code. I slept badly, was lethargic, had no inspiration. I’d try to draw, and couldn’t remember how. I spent most of my day shuffling about looking for reference – which felt kinda like work

Or I’d blog – which felt kinda like work.

But real work didn’t get done.

About a year ago, the fog started to lift. And fog is exactly what it felt like…grey days.

For the first time since 2006, I began to produce real work. Slowly, the Gotta came back. I sat down to draw and drawing felt good. I sat down to write. And writing felt pretty good, too.

Still, I couldn’t keep those old hours, and didn’t feel the old energy. I wondered if the old Gotta was gone forever.

Is this what middle age feels like?

The last time I had the Gotta was 2006.

Here is what Gotta is like.

I get up at 8 AM.

Pop out of bed. Spring. Spring loaded. Can’t wait to get moving.

Out for an hour or more of exercise, or, if the day is going to be very hot, I put that off until late evening.

Grab a breakfast drink, and go draw. Ten minutes to make sure tools are gathered and papers ready. Later, I take an hour or so to answer email, web surf, blog. An hour of the day goes to filing and admin duties.

I have no trouble feeling motivated for ten hours or more. I feel more energy as the day goes on, even when my hand hurts or my eyes are sore.

About 6 or 7 PM on a hot day. I get out and get some exercise. When I was jogging regularly, that meant two hours of running. Now it’s two hours of yard and garden work. Last night it was three hours. I came in at 9 PM.

After a shower, back to drawing. I draw until about 1 AM. I get most of my layouts done late because I am relaxed. Fine motor control work gets done early in the day.

That feels good and right to me. That is the way I like to live.

Sometime around late 2006, this life evaporated.

I had some fits and starts at Gotta in 2008, but since then, grey days.

The things that buzzkilled my Gotta were raptored by Work Bird. It’s 2010, and I feel normal.

Lately, every day is a Gotta. And I am very happy about that.

If other people want to think of this is workaholism, then fine by me.

It’s My Precious.