I can feel it.
Starting in the back of my neck, a pain, just in that crook above my right shoulder blade.
It starts to spread to the other side, as I’m hunched over my keyboard, multi-tasking my life away. Phones ringing, papers flying everywhere, it’s like the beginning of some movie where the bored-with-life cubicle-caged employee snaps and goes off on a spontaneous adventure.
My cage, however, is self-made. A desk that is smack dab in the middle of my home. Always there, always eyeing me, always letting me know that my to-do list is never done. No door to shut it away.
This IS my adventure.
I remind myself of that. I chose this. Well, not THIS current panic-driven state. But I chose to be self-employed, to create a business, and run it as best I can.
But there’s days that I simply can’t do it all. Days where absolutely everything goes wrong, and surprise – it’s my fault.
A simple math equation…
I’m tired. My mind is constantly running around in circles, trying to remember the tasks that need to be done for all the different projects. I am constantly forgetting things. I am making mistakes, more often than not. I used to be the one catching others’ mistakes and being frustrated with their inability to do a simple math equation. How the tables have turned…
I get up from my desk, breathing heavy because I just can’t. I can’t. So I step away, and make myself a coffee. Throw a load of laundry in, while eyeing the dirty pile in the hamper, and the clean pile in the laundry basket, all folded but not put away. The mirror in the bathroom has water spots, and I notice my eyebrows are out of control.
There’s not enough time.
I quickly clear off the bathroom counter, shoving everything in the drawers, this way and that, never to be found again. I drink my coffee and ignore a phone call on purpose, because I just can’t.
Five more minutes.
I should do more yoga. I should go out for a walk. I need to go for a run. I have a race to do in two weeks that I haven’t trained for. My nervous energy is driving me crazy. I feel like one of those joke cans full of snakes. You know the ones you saw on tv as a kid? “I can’t open this can of peanuts Dad!” “Here, let me do it!” and out pop a handful of toy snakes, surprising Dad and making everyone else laugh.
Instead my snakes are real, and crazed, full of venom, waiting for the chance to strike. Or that’s how it feels anyway.
Sssssssssss… Don’t pop that lid open…
A sink full of dishes greets me upstairs, and a kitchen counter full of the remains of breakfast and lunches made in a hurry. Throw it out, wipe it down, fill the sink some more. I curse the fact we don’t have a dishwasher, what was I thinking? I shove a bunch of almonds in my mouth, not the healthy ones but the chocolate-covered kind, and get back to work.
Emails. Emails in all sixteen of my inboxes. All need attention. All require more than a one word answer as a response. I finally check the voicemail and realize the phone call I avoided an hour ago was rather important, and am now kicking myself for not answering it. Calls returned. Emails start to fall apart. I answer one, but not the other. I save a few in the Drafts folder, never to be found again.
I just can’t.
Back to working on some good old graphic design. Website formatting. CSS. But creativity is lacking. I look down and realize that I’m basically wearing pyjamas. Yoga pants and a loose top make me feel like I’m wearing clothes, but it’s the 21st century’s sweat suit. I haven’t done yoga in months. I’ve gained 5 pounds.
Which doesn’t sound like much, but after losing 30 pounds, ANY gain seems devastating. And causes me to immediately reach for chocolate, gummy worms, or a nice, cold, and well-deserved beer at the end of the day.
I need to work out more.
Is that the time? Kids are almost out of school. This is bullshit. Nothing has been completed. This is NEVER-ENDING. I distract myself by throwing the laundry in the dryer, and playing with my new labeller – because if I was more organized, my life would be MUCH easier, right?
Denial. Denial. Denial.
I finally get in “the mode”. The one where I actually complete things. Photoshop decides to work for once, the internet isn’t too slow, everything gets uploaded, things are being crossed off the checklist – and then the kids get home. Most days they’re great together, but some days…
I just get sick of hearing my shouting voice. My angry voice. The one that snaps because I can’t write a full sentence without hearing them bicker and argue over nothing. I make them dinner, clean the kitchen, give them baths, get them ready for bed, and start to write down my to-do list for the next day.
I finally return some emails. I finally send things off to the printer. I finally clean my desk off. Finally. Finally. Finally. I know I can’t do it all, but I’m going to damn well try and I’m going to feel good about it.
And then I make the mistake of going on Facebook. There’s nothing worse. Instagram is lovely. Twitter is chaotic and boring. Pinterest can be fun. But Facebook?
Just kill me now.
Between the politicos, the braggarts, and the whiners, there are those “friends” on Facebook that are actually living life. LIVING. Not just breathing and going through the motions. They’re travelling, and cooking, and exploring, and pushing themselves through new and amazing journeys. I remember occasionally feeling like that was me.
But for now? I’m pushing myself to work as hard as I can, for as short a time as possible, so I can come out on TOP and create something GREAT and AMAZING and FULFILLING – and then, once that happens, I can be an ADVENTURER again. I can travel, and try new foods, and go exploring in the woods again. Free as a bird spreading my wings and soaring into the distance.
But for now?
I just have to deal with those snakes.