You are NOT “loosing it”.
What you are experiencing is the mental equivalent of adrenal exhaustion. You have too many things going on in your mind at one time and you are facing mental overload - which is a bad thing.
Part of the problem is that the Dexter 'bot is such a rich environment it’s easy to get lost in the possibilities. There’s so much you can do with even a simple configuration.
Of course, it’s no turtle-bot, neither is it facebook’s 'bot, neither is it one of @thomascoyle11859’s Mega-Bots, and it is most definitely not the new Xilinx Kira K260 SOM AI evaluation board.
But then again, for right around two bills, ($200-or-so), you get a 'bot that is eminently capable of doing 99% of what the others can do for a LOT less money. And because it’s “a lot less money” there’s a lot less pressure to succeed - you haven’t thrown a huge grant down the toilet if you fail and there’s no PhD thesis riding on the outcome.
And I completely understand where you’re coming from. As soon as I set my sights on one project, fifteen other interesting things pop up to distract me - and the ultimate result is that I get nothing done. Frustration reigns supreme, the angst-meter gets its pointer wrapped around the full-scale stop, I start blowing fuses and get snappy at people, and things generally go down-hill rather rapidly. The usual result is that I give up entirely and the project joins dozens of other projects in my “unfinished projects” box.
Though I am NOT recommending that people get the coronavirus, I have to say “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good”. The coronavirus, the subsequent neurological damage, and the tremendous rehabilitative efforts I have had to put in to return to even a semblance of “normal” has had one important side-effect: It forced me to slow down.
I was forced to carefully conserve and portion out the very limited amounts of effort and energy I had to spend. I just couldn’t afford the 4:00 am “all night” coding sessions I did before. I couldn’t drink cans of Monster and make like a 20-year-old coder at some software startup.
In short: I had to prioritize.
Question #1: Do I want to abandon Charlie?
Answer: Absolutely not!
Question #2: Can I afford the energy needed to continue the work I was doing?
Put another way, though I do not want to abandon Charlie, do I need to abandon Charlie in order to recover?
Question 2b: Will I ever get back to the point where I can devote the effort needed to continue working with Charlie if I “set him aside”?
Answer: That’s a more difficult question with no easy answer.
Obviously I can’t continue full-tilt.
Obviously I have to devote considerable effort to “getting well”.
Equally obvious is the fact that if I set Charlie aside, abandon the forum here and my research, I may never be able to recover and restart what I was doing.
I was compelled to look at all the projects I wanted to undertake and decide what was the primary goal. The result of that thought-exercise was that the “Remote Camera Robot” project, (as far as I have defined it), is the foreseeable end-goal.
Given projects “A”, “B”, “C”, (and others) - were they advancing me toward my ultimate goal? If not, they got pushed off the table. That includes my project to port Raspbian for Robots to the 64 bit Raspbian images. Though desirable, and possibly ultimately necessary, I don’t have the resources or time so it went into the bin.
Ultimately, I kept three projects:
The multi-boot project.
(AKA “Project Mercury” - Do the fundamental research and develop the fundamental techniques that everything else depends on.)
The development environment/GitHub repo project.
(AKA “Project Gemini” - Develop the tools and techniques needed to accomplish the end goal.)
The Remote Camera Robot project itself.
(AKA “Project Apollo” - Work toward accomplishing the actual end-goal.)
. . . where each project was an important step toward making the Remote Camera Robot project either possible, or significantly easier to accomplish.
As you said once before, sometimes we all need a “rabbi”, and you have blessed me with invaluable advice. Now it’s my turn to put on my yarmulke and return the favor.
IMHO, what you really need to do is what all engineers do when faced with a crisis: Go out and get stinkin’ drunk. After you sober up, (and get out of jail ), you need to decide what’s important and what’s expendable. If it’s expendable, no matter how desirable it might be, it has to go entirely off the radar.
You divided people into three broad categories:
Before you can start, do, or finish, you have to decide on one specific goal that you want to start, do, and finish. Then weigh everything in the balance against that one specific goal. If it advances you toward that goal, it stays. If not, it goes in the bin.
Here I am assuming that, (at least), some certain part of your research with Carl is the “one specific goal”, and that ultimately you will want Carl to do a specific and definable thing.
This is the important step - deciding on a single specific and definable thing that you want to accomplish.
You will notice I am emphasizing “specific” and “definable”, as the goal needs to be defined with sufficient precision to make it clearly achievable.
Once you have decided on that one specific and definable thing, you can measure things against that standard, keeping things that move you toward it and discarding things that don’t.
Once that goal has been met, you can decide on yet another goal.
The most important thing to remember is that this is supposed to be FUN. We do this because we enjoy the challenge and we enjoy contributing to a common goal.
Somehow or other you need to relax and decompress.
Blow a “J”, get drunk, spend a month in Cancun, or whatever you need to recharge YOUR batteries, and then approach this question again.
What say ye?