One Thing After Another

Hard days. Hard, hard days.

“This period of transition in my life has been far more challenging than I thought it would be.”

I have written that same sentence THREE TIMES in the last week in my phone notes. Pulling together all my disjointed thoughts for this post, I kept coming across this phrase, almost word-for-word each time. But it feels the most appropriate thing to say right now. Working from home, while a very privileged position, is also quite unromantic: the guilt if I’m at home but not in front of my computer, how I forget to shower for three days, how I wear the same thing two days in a row. There is the expected struggle for time management, the surprisingly difficult call for discipline, the absolute need for balance between working and living at home, and the loneliness I thought I would relish, but it is all harder and scarier than I expected.

But instead of being able to work through this stress, to dealing with it one bite at a time, scarier and more frustrating problems simply pile on. The dog gets attacked on a walk. The truck breaks down. A coyote breaks into the rabbit circus. The dog run fence gets knocked down and babysat dogs run wild. Hero squirms his way into the rabbit circus and actually kills one of the buns.

I try to remind myself that this is only a brief moment, that I won’t be here in this frustration & disappointment forever. But this has happened and been happening for more than a week straight–a week of high alert & stressful make-do’s that fall apart at the most inconvenient moment possible. Last week, I had a day where I woke up, and felt that the tidal wave had passed, that all the bad was behind me and I had regained control, had wrestled with something mighty and been victorious. Yesterday, I learned how illusory control is, but it’s a laundry list of “and then THIS happened” so I’ll spare you the details.

I am trying my very hardest to remember that every mistake is a lesson–this didn’t work, so try that. Each time something fails, you must find a way to make it stronger, to bounce back more resilient. But I have had so many failures, so many mistakes in such a short amount of time. It’s discouraging, it makes me question my ability to accomplish, which is something i have learned to prize. Maybe that’s the problem?

Should I focus on letting go of the idea of control? Do I search for structure & order here, or do I let things happen organically, in their course? There are two sides to it–on the one hand, I feel like order & discipline are necessary to succeed in self-employment….but on the other hand, I have to question what the definition of “success” SHOULD be. Certainly, the opportunity to keep doing this, but I want to make sure the cost of time & stress working for companies I don’t support doesn’t cut into or outweigh the things I enjoy about my home.

I have no answer for this. No tidy summary, no elegant conclusion. It just is. Right now, in this moment, it’s a stressful, tear-inducing situation. Each day, I am terrified of what is going to go wrong THAT day. I am skittish at every bark, every noise, certain it’s the other shoe dropping (whoever owns those shoes has A LOT of feet). At night, I stay up until I’m so tired I can’t work, then pass out in bed so I don’t worry. I cannot see how it will end, but I’m praying it does.

Send ice cream, please.

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