Some days are better than others. I’m not sure if this is a function of energy, intention, luck or some combination of these and other factors. Days in the mountains are good days. So are days spent learning, reading and relaxing. Productive days where I crush that task list, execute on projects and accomplish all my dailies are often good days; in retrospect if not during.
Then there are the not so good days. The days when I hit snooze more than once because sleep played hard-to-get the night before. When this forty-three year old body feels stiff and sluggish or riddled with various aches and pains from neck to knee. Then that morning routine doesn’t feel so routine and time gets wasted on actions that should be automatic. Somehow you get so distracted that you forget fundamental things and you have a moment where you understand how it is that babies get left in cars.
Traffic is more of a teeth-grinding experience than normal but you finally manage to get to work. You don’t know where to start. Or just don’t care to. That blank editor screen is mocking you, taunting you and somehow wearing down your psyche in ways that no set of electrons should. People annoy you more than usual, yet you want to talk to them at length because at least then it will feel like your doing something. Maybe you flip over to one of your social media accounts, just to see what’s going on. Then you berate yourself for losing 30 minutes on the curated fiction of other people’s lives.
You try to eek out some measure of productivity before your first meeting. But you know that you’ll have to redo whatever it is that you manage to get done. Because there’s no way you’re doing your best work in this state. On top of that, the work environment has a pall of uncertainty about it. Everyone knows layoffs are coming, just not when or who. This does not help your day. Now a transient lack of focus feels like the impending doom of termination. You idly wonder if this would be a bad thing. It would, of course. You have a family to support. This additional worry does not help your performance. Now it’s not even noon and you’re already pondering if you want a drink later.
On the really bad days you think about just walking away from it all - maybe you’ll become a buddhist monk and learn some kung fu, maybe you’ll change your name and start over in some remote logging town in the Rockies, or maybe you’ll come to your senses by lunch. Life isn’t perfect, but it could always be worse. And if you make the wrong decisions on your bad days then you will definitely make it worse. Instead, maybe you’ll write about it to get some perspective (and perhaps annoy your reader by switching from first-person to second-person and back again).
After all this, you can probably guess what kind of day I’m having. But I’m trying. I’m really freaking trying.