I woke up Monday morning feeling a little out of sorts. I mean, more out of sorts than most Mondays. There definitely was the somewhat normal beginning of the week element where one just wants to curl up and stay in bed, but somehow it felt heavier this time around.
Part of it, I’m sure, was due to the fact that I was putting the finishing touches on a presentation I’d been working several weeks on, and am set to deliver on Tuesday. I was feeling pretty good about it, but still nervous and obsessing over lots of last minute details.
And I suppose part of my sense of angst that morning might possibly come from the fact that we’re living through a deadly pandemic taking place in world that grows ever crazier by the day, and my wife and I are trying to protect our kids’ health and sanity while also looking after our own. Minor stuff, sure, but I suppose it may have played a role in my mental state.
Also, I forgot to pick up mixed nuts at Trader Joe’s last week. We’re running low, and that bums me out. I do like Trader Joe’s mixed nuts.
I know we are all stretched right now, trying to juggle lots of moving parts in a world that has become so self-contained. Working and parenting simultaneously in crisis. That is a lot to process. There are days I feel like I take the challenge in stride, but lately it does feel like I’ve been stumbling.
I have been super busy trying to get this and other projects done, and it’s amazing to the extent I can feel like I didn’t make significant progress, nor did I spend that much time with my family, nor did I get much done around the house. In baseball terms, I feel like a power hitter who is swinging really hard, but just not connecting. Strike, strike, strike.
Sometimes it feels like running faster and faster on a hamster wheel. Expending tons of energy, but not getting anywhere. At least that would be good cardio. Hmmm.
(Note to self: patent the idea of a large human-size hamster wheel with stationary desk.)
On the plus side, I did get my presentation done, but I was pretty exhausted at the end of the day. I had also intended to finish a little short screenplay for a contest with a June 30 deadline, but I finally had to accept surrender on that one. I just did not have the energy to finish it.
But as I dragged toward the end of the day, I saw a post on Twitter that gave me some perspective.
There were lots of people commenting on it, acknowleding similar feelings. I admit, it made me feel a little better knowing that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. These are challenging times and I doubt many non-delusional people are walking around feeling like they are really crushing it right now. I have a tendency to have overly high expectations of myself, and this was a reminder to take a breath, recognize the stuff I am getting done, and maybe practice a little self forgiveness.
Anyone else feeling this way, I’d encourage you to do the same. Nobody’s got it easy right now, and it’s OK to feel overwhelmed and outmatched. Hell, I do just about every day. But here’s where I find daily journaling and affirmations really help. As tough as the world is right now, there are good things to hang on to, and I guarantee we’re all handling it better than we think we are.
The little things do mean a lot. And as the sun went down, we turned on our little fire pit and we all got to try out the brand new marshmallow roasting sticks I got for Father’s Day.
It was a huge hit with the kids, and even though Erin and I were tired after a long day, it was a fun and special moment for all of us. Amazing what a little self appreciation and charred spun sugar can do for the soul.