Archives for category: Frustration

I don’t mean the icy mornings of autumn in my titular reference to “chill” – I mean that fully relaxed state of being in which self-awareness leads observation to a well-spring of contentment in non-attachment to specific outcomes. 🙂 The chill chill. Calm. Still. At ease.

…My coffee is long gone. My most recent break was little more than an excuse to take an Rx pain reliever. Headache. Arthritis. Tennis elbow? (Well, or something unreasonably similar.) The afternoon sunshine sneaks into the studio on an angle, illuminating a tissue box on my desk, beneath and behind my monitor(s), giving it seeming significance of some kind. It has none. It’s a trick of the light. Like this blog post; it has no import, no real gravitas, no significance, just… words. A moment. A break from routine. A few swallows of water, and a mental “reset button” pressed, moving on to another task. I am here, now. I am okay. Nothing to see here. Nothing much to share. Still…

…And I do mean “still”… I think about a friend’s recent observation that she is struggling to “get a minute of peace”. I think about other similar remarks from friends (and readers – I see you!). Me, too. Sometimes busy is far too busy, chaos is too chaotic, and breaks are a challenge to take properly. Have you tried this…? It’s a good starting point on finding that quiet moment, when quiet moments are hard to come by.

…It helps to have a good pair of headphones, too… 🙂

I pause and take my own advice for two minutes. I end up feeling more refreshed than I expect to…but also already looking forward to the end of the actual day, hours from now, when I can flop down onto my bed and just give in to fatigue quite completely. Taking more breaks, more skillfully, would probably really help with the enduring fatigue that has chased me down since daylight savings time ended. Damn I wish we’d get smarter and stop doing that.

…Work interrupts me interrupting work to grab a break. Yeah… this is more complicated than it looks, sometimes. I breathe. Exhale. Relax. I push my mind firmly off the work topic, and back to writing for a couple minutes. I know taking proper breaks results in more efficient (and faster, and more skillful) work… so I also find myself, often, wondering where the hell I got the reluctance to do it…? Strange, isn’t it? It’s such an important self-care detail, too. I wonder, also, if this bit of weirdness is cultural (unique to American workers?) or regional, or universal, or… and then I find that I’ve descended into yet another work “rabbit hole” – my field of endeavor being to do with how people work, and how much time things take, and how many people a task or job will require to do well… LOL Fuuuuuuck. This is hard. Clearly I need more practice…

…Only now it’s already time to begin (work) again. 😉

I hurt today. Soaking helped some. Medication helped some. Morning yoga helped some. I still hurt. I’m cross, and finding it hard to deal with people gently. Pain is not visible – still complicates my interactions. Everything from a partner’s heartfelt well-intentioned fitness reminders that seem to overlook how much pain I am in to a colleague’s pleasant inquiry whether I am “having a bad day” (nope, just pain) that lacks any context regarding the one thing truly amiss (pain). I am as frustrated with the lack of ability to really drive the message home in a way that sticks with loved ones (it’s almost always just pain) as I am with my lack of ability to do anything substantial to reduce my day-to-day pain in a reliable way. Neither bit of frustration is the slightest help for actually improving anything whatsoever.

I breathe. Exhale. Relax. Let go of the frustration. Let go of being annoyed by the fairly steady lack of any real helpfulness involved in asking me what can be done to help. Let go of being annoyed with being reminded to do things that are good for my physical wellness, but so very difficult to embrace because I just fucking hurt. Let go of the whining about any of it (while I whine about all of it, right here). Just… let it go. Feel the love instead of the futility. It’s a tall fucking ask, I grant you that. One more thing to do, it sometimes seems…and sometimes I just feel so… tired. I take a breath, and let that go, too. Even that. Let it go.

There are tears in my eyes. Less the pain than the frustration with the pain. Sometimes it’s hard. Challenging. “The struggle is real.” I try to stop struggling and just surrender to this moment, here, now. It’s not a bad moment. It’s got some nice points to it. The work day almost over. Nice. Warm cup of noodles next to me waiting for my attention – a satisfying small bite of lunch, once it’s ready. Nice. The rain has paused and it looks like a good day to walk – I even have a purposeful destination in mind that should be within my fitness “reach”. Nice. All of that is good stuff. None of that is specifically about the pain I am in. I sit with that perspective instead, for a while.

…These noodles are ready, and it’s already time to begin again. I put the work in front of me on pause, and take care of this fragile vessel. For now, that’s enough.

I slept poorly. I slept very little. I woke to the alarm, set for the latest acceptable time to wake before a work day. I made coffee…

…Pretty much all down hill from there, so far. “It is what it is.” I’m in pain. I’m slowed way down with fatigue. I’m cross… with pretty much the world, and everything in it. I’m easily frustrated. Easily angered.

…Did I mention the crossness?

I sat down to work with zero enthusiasm. It’s a very human experience. I’m glad the week is at its end; I’m over it, for sure.

Nothing much sounds any good right now. No solutions that I could consider seem worth considering. If it were solely my own choice, I’d log into a video game and kill monsters for a while, because honestly, that’s what I want to do more than anything else right now; kill monsters. Monster-slaying being generally discouraged “in real life” (most particularly considering by far the vast majority of the monsters most of us face will be in human form, and that would be murder, which is totally not allowed), video games are the near-at-hand proxy.

…I’ve got work…

Yeah. So. I’m in a shit mood, and I’m in pain, and I’d very much like to be left entirely alone right now. The world intrudes. Every minute I have to interact with another person, right now, is an irritant. I’d just fucking go back to bed, if that were an option. Hell, I don’t even want to be around me, right now. Not fun. Less than my ideal best self, for real, y’all.

Work is work. I remind myself I get paid for being a reasonable facsimile of my most professional “best self” for the purposes of completing the work day (and week). I eye my calendar with distaste. Meetings. With people. I look them over with care. Who am I having to meet with? Can it be rescheduled without consequences that ripple into the weeks ahead? Can the underlying need be met without having a meeting at all? Was I invited to meetings I don’t need to be part of? Are there optional meetings that I can simply opt out of without concern? I reschedule what I can. I opt out of those that I don’t need to be part of or have no obligations to. The day still looks unpleasantly full. I frown at my calendar. I frown at my coffee. I frown at the shade still drawn, obscuring the sky beyond the window.

I sip my cold coffee, and allow work to distract me from being pissed off about having to work “on such a completely shit day” (it isn’t, actually). I take a deep breath with each new interaction with a colleague, making a point of being “pleasantly neutral” as much as I can be, seeking to avoid reactions that become over-reactions. Bad moods can be “contagious”. I’d like to avoid sharing this around.

My head aches with fighting off tears; there is no room on my calendar for crying, today. My back aches from the general nuisances of aging, and my arthritis. My cold coffee is gone. Finished. Consumed. I’d like to have another, but don’t really want to interact with my Traveling Partner. (Yep, I’m in that shitty of a mood, this morning, and disinclined to “make shit worse”.) I’ve forgotten my water bottle, too. So… it’s just me and the work in front of me, in this quiet room, alone.

…Looks like I’ll just have to begin again…

Today is turning out to be a less than pleasant day. I mean… it could be worse. I already voted, and it is not a headache to do that in Oregon. So… there’s that. Win? It’s something, at least. I make a point of being aware of the small win. In many other respects today is mostly fairly shitty.

…Well… a whole bunch of the moments are annoying, unpleasant, frustrating, ineffective uses of time, or wasted in a cascade of interruptions when I am struggling to concentrate. I slept badly. It’s been downhill from the moment I woke, although I’m certain that I had choices that could have been chosen rather differently, potentially with better outcomes.

This headache, though. This arthritis pain. Fatigue. Lack of focus. The sensation that I “can’t hear myself think”. A feeling of “falling behind”. The lack of sleep is just the sprinkles on the icing of a relatively crappy day.

…Crappy days are a thing. Everyone gets a few. I try not to take it personally. I try to refrain from allowing my shitty mood to become weaponized. I try not to allow myself to pass on the shitty experience to anyone else.

The work day is almost over. It really hasn’t been “personal”, at all. I’m tired and I’m in pain – that pretty reliably has significant potential to be rendered as “a shitty day”. I imagine shrugging it off, and find myself simultaneously amused and annoyed that the text editor in WordPress does not have a default menu of emoji for day-to-day use, and chuckle to myself when I realize how much I actually do use emoji instead of written word – even at work. Wow. How 21st century am I?

…I guess I’m at least 21st century enough to have a solid grasp of the practices involved in emotional wellness, resilience, and bouncing back from a shitty moment… I know how to begin again. 😉

Today is weird. I mean… I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a day. lol

The morning was lovely. I shared my morning coffee with my Traveling Partner. Mornings together over coffee are becoming a routine, which tends to crowd writing out of the morning plan. I enjoy my partner’s company. We never know how long we get to travel life’s journey with any one special human being, do we? I’m enjoying the moments as they come.

The work day became a busy bit of chaos unexpectedly quickly. I frankly over-reacted. Not in any notably dramatic way, I just took the moment more seriously than it proved to be worth, given time. One of those “oh. this is not an actual problem at all” moments. I would have benefited from taking a minute, taking a step back, and giving the whole thing some thought… Very much as I too-often, too-insistently, too-ineffectively sometimes suggest someone else do, in some other moment. Very fucking human. At some point, something clicked. I took a breath. I had more context. I rather literally “shrugged it off” with a shrug, when I realized how little the circumstances really mattered, in fact.

…Now I’m sitting here feeling just a little silly, and feeling vaguely fretful about purposeless anxiety and bullshit over nothing, and wondering again what the simplest steps to being the most balanced, calm, reasonable version of myself would be… I look to my day-to-day practices for some minutes, just “thinking things over”, then noticed something… I am finding myself “pretty balanced”, and I’m feeling very calm. There wasn’t anything particularly “unreasonable”, or unpleasant or harmful or rude, about my behavior at any point… just a day, with a bit of unexpected chaos. Handled reasonably. Progress over time. 🙂 Keep practicing.

I take another breath, and begin again.