There's this concept in my mental toolbox called Dunbar's number (wikipedia), which comes from the research of an anthropologist named Robin Dunbar. Basically his idea is that there's a limit to the number of social connections that can be meaningfully maintained. The rough estimate is about 150.
I generally feel like I'm pushing the envelope there, and I'm starting to drop packets. Lots of social grooming is going undone; emails not returned, events missed, plans left in limbo, etc. If you're one of the unfortunately many folks who I haven't been in touch with, I'm sorry.
The past couple months have been intense. I've logged 534 hours, which is 60 a week. Considering all the hours that get worked that aren't in the log, the lost sleep, etc, that's a pretty heavy load.
I was doing pretty good on the extra-effort front for most of may and the beginning of June, but the past couple weeks I've started wearing down. It's most difficult when I start losing sight of what it's all about. There have been times when it felt overwhelming, like I couldn't do it. Those moments are few and generally pass. It's the "what the hell is this all about" parts that are hard. Tonight I feel like I'm seeing the light again. There's still a hard row to hoe ahead, but I feel confident about it, and I know what it's for.
I've often played with the idea of charting these kinds of feelings, like some kind of spiritual stock-ticker. Maybe there's some correlation with a behavior I can tune. Gotta have data for that.