This post was imported from my old Drupal blog. To see the full thing, including comments, it's best to visit the Internet Archive.

The other day I finally got around to watching the first episode of Britain From Above. The episode talked about the various networks that keep Britain working: water, sewage, electricity, gas, road, shipping, trains, telecommunications and so on.

One segment was about the railway system during the rush hour (might only be viewable by those in the UK). The description runs:

Transport expert Jon Shaw reveals that every morning as millions of people start their long commute to work they are using a system which is so overloaded it is on the brink of disaster.

Apparently the railway system (around London, at least) operates at 95% capacity during the rush hour, which means that if one small thing goes wrong, the system collapses.

Sounds like my life! Working and looking after the children, and keeping up with blogs and mailing lists puts me at 95%. Then I try to push it that little bit more: some extra preparation for a training course; a short article for a magazine; a technical review on a book. And then something unexpected happens: a child gets chicken pox, or starts vomiting, or my tooth needs a root canal, and I collapse.

Over the weekend, for the first time in 15 years, I had a proper full-on migraine that wiped me out for seven hours and lingered for another 24. (I get the visual disturbances, and sometimes even problems reading, a couple of times a year, but usually manage to avoid the actual headache.) It’s my body’s way of telling me to stop and slow down for a while.

But I still have that reviewing to do, and the children are just about to wake up from their nap, and the RESTful JSON discussion is pretty interesting, and supper needs preparing, and I really have to try Norm’s XProc implementation, and weed the vegetables, and write another XRX post for as well as about this behaviour-driven development framework I’ve been developing for XSLT, and sew in the labels on my eldest’s school uniform…

Sigh. I’m not doing too well at lowering the load. Perhaps I should work at increasing the capacity.