Lent 31: What day is it, again?

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At $dayjob, we have a monthly software release cadence. The first Thursday of every month, we publish our documentation suite, release notes, and help packages. There are gates we need to pass through in order to make everything happen to hit release note drafting, review cycles, docs-done dates so we can get the content localized to meet contractual obligations. Every week, there’s specific things to do. There’s Release Week, then Preview Release Note Week, then Help Writing Week, then Do-All-The-Other-Things-On-Our-Backlog week, then release week again. Within those weeks, there are things that happen – team meetings, backlog grooming, publishing dates. Wednesday (before mandatory Work At Home started) was my regularly-scheduled work at home day. There was a cadence to home-life, too. Mondays and Tuesdays, my gentleman associate is (respectively) the Supply Officer and the Band Officer at the local Army Cadet Corps. Wednesday he has bagpipe lessons. Tuesday and Thursday I’m in the pool. The days and the weeks and the months have a heartbeat. Now, though, the work cadence also has daily 3pm publishing or a Covid-19 business continuity page. There’s daily “Who can take on [this] task” requests. The end of the day is when you decide to shut down, not because there’s a hard-stop because your ride comes at 3:30. There’s no cadets or lane swim window or lesson schedule that hurries us along.

Days are running together. So it shouldn’t really be a surprise that I find myself in an interesting predicament. From Ash Wednesday to Good Friday (except Sundays) is Lent. Except that isn’t 40 days this year because it’s a Leap Year. It’s 41 days. So one week hence we should be on day 40. Except one week hence we’ll only be on day 38. I mean, I know that the days *seem* long right now, because we’re all chillin’ at home, but somehow, the days aren’t matching up to the calendar, or something.

I could add this to my official List of Things to be Anxious About ™. Or I could just feel good about the effort I’ve put in, with the extraordinary circumstances we’ve had this year, and say that’s good enough. I’m not saying I didn’t bust open a calendar and count the days. Because I thought Lent ended on Good Friday, so maybe that’s the math, but maybe they just say 40 days because that’s easy to remember, not 40-days-with-3-caveats… I counted it 5 different ways, and yeah, there’s no way 10 days fit in the next 8 boxes on the calendar.

So, I’ve cheated all y’all out of 2 days of reflections somewhere along the way. Alas.

Writers in general have trouble with the concept of Good Enough. We know that if we just have another pass at our prose/copy/content, there’s a way to make it better. More clear. More succinct. More accessible. More touching. More… more. Professional Technical Writer Me has a set of contingency strategies for when we run out of time on the monthly cadence. Maybe that means no screen captures. Maybe that means less robust conceptual info. This is what I do to hit the constantly moving target of Good Enough.

So as we’re on the cusp of Holy Week and the final push to Easter, I’m looking back on the 31 that I’ve shared so far. Certainly, some were harder to draft than others. Some were cannibalized from previous posts and massaged and kneaded into something that works for my purposes now.

This Lent, may the perfect not be the enemy of the good.

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