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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Looking Up

I love those marvelous days during which I am super productive. The ones where I check everything off my to-do list and even add a couple extra things because I can. The ones when I sit in front of my computer and the ideas flow, generating words, and soon the page is full; I could keep going for days, weeks, a lifetime! The ones when I'm filled with excitement, optimism, a conflicting yet comforting feeling of frenetic energy as infinite possibility stretches before me, when I know to my core that life is wonderful and things are aligning and I am in control. I can take on the world. I AM the world, dammit!

Man, I love those days. LOVE. THEM.

Sometimes I'm lucky and I wake up feeling amazing. Well, after my first cup of coffee. (Interestingly, I used to be purely a tea person. I didn't start drinking coffee until the fall of 2013, when I discovered the Cranberry-Chocolate variety sold by Fresh Market. Mmm. That coffee made a coffee-drinker out of me. Until I became overzealous and bought 13 bags of it the next season (we still have 3 left) and it got sort of played out.  Lesson learned: There's a reason seasonal blends are seasonal and should stay seasonal. But I digress...) Those days are fabulous. The sky is bluer, the sun shines brighter, things I read are more profound. I want to drink life to the lees.

Other days start off normally and the magic develops later. For instance, Sunday night I was sitting at my computer and out of nowhere, I was struck with a feeling like I could conquer anything. I remarked to my husband that I wished I could bottle it up to drink sometime I felt down. That night I was full of vigor, ideas, purpose, drive. I contemplated staying up all night just to hold on to the feeling as long as I could, to capitalize on the buzz of energy running through me.

Yesterday I had another flash of it. In the late morning, I was able to reach flow as I worked. I ran out of time and had to pack it up until tomorrow; still, possibility hummed in my chest the rest of the day. Later, I worked out, made dinner, took my girls to visit my dad for his birthday, folded two loads of laundry while watching the inspiring State of the Union address, and listened to music with my husband as we fell asleep. It was a productive and satisfying day.

Unfortunately, today was not that kind of day.

Today was the opposite kind. The kind where I can barely manage to accomplish a single task. The kind where, if I got a dollar for every time I clicked off of the page in front of me to check Facebook or my inbox, I wouldn't need to win tonight's $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot. The kind in which I spend all my time re-reading what I've already written instead of writing anything new. When I am plagued by restlessness that sends me skittering from this to that to that other thing. The kind where even if I could manage to focus on my task (like when I went to the gym for my workout), something would interrupt me (a friendly older fellow who chatted me up so much he must've been having a similar affliction today). The kind of day that gives me agita.

Sure, I had a nice Facebook exchange with some old friends about our fifth grade days. I sent a funny PG-13 joke to try to lighten the mood of a friend who was having upset over car troubles. I took my daughter to her gymnastics class. I conversed with the gym guy. So, yes, I made some pleasant connections to the world today in my own way, I suppose. But it was not the day I had hoped to have work-wise.

When I have days like this, I fight against it. I resolve to myself that if I just do XYZ, then I'll be back on track. But it rarely works. Instead of just admitting it's not happening, I end up sitting for longer, drawing out the entire process and still having nothing to show for it but aching body parts. (To that end, my knees are killing me from sitting as long as I have been today in this stubborn pursuit to make something happen that is clearly not there to happen today.)

That's dumb.

So, grudgingly, painfully, I've decided I'm going to give myself permission to call it a day. In addition, I am going to forgive myself the absurd amount of time I wasted pressuring myself to give something I couldn't--for whatever reason--give today. I might even go and watch some of the most recent episode of The Bachelor I DVRed on Monday. (What? I've already wasted most of the day on nonsense; what's another ninety minutes???)

And tomorrow? Tomorrow I'm going to start again and hope the magic happens. At the very least, I'm disabling my wifi for my working hours. (That, in itself, is a kind of magic these days.)

Huh, whaddaya know? That decision is the most productive I've been all day! Things are already looking up! ;-)

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