What if things are just really hard?
At the beginning of the year, I tried adopting the “What if everything was easy?” and “What if things go my way?” mindsets as a way to flip my usual cynical thoughts and anxiety, and I think it made things worse when everything was actually really hard and I didn’t really get anything my way. With every new setback that comes with another opportunity to adapt or change course, the same phrases have become jokes between my husband and me because we know it probably wont be easy and it probably will not go our way, or we don’t know when it will go our way.
Everything has been kicking my ass lately. Work, life, family, move planning, everything has pretty much not been Good and I’m at that stage of burn out that’s past the point of needing just the Band-Aid fix of PTO for a couple days or a really relaxing evening to reset. I think I need something much more. I don’t even know what, but I’m fairly certain it’s inaccessible and not possible so I don’t spend much time trying to figure it out. I feel like a grouch and wet blanket and don’t really like my whole vibe right now.
At the same time, it all doesn’t feel real, and I’m numbing my way through it. It’s an influx of emotions and information from all directions. I’m usually good at compartmentalizing and jumping from one pool to another without bringing any drops with me, but lately it feels like all of the pools have completely overfilled and all spilled together. In the middle of back-to-back meetings at work, I’m getting 3 missed calls from my doctor, 5 Slacks from colleagues and employees asking me for things they can get themselves, 2 emails from a real estate agent to check out the new listings in the portal, a text from David about his job search, and Bjorn is barking nonstop out the window at the FedEx guy at the same time. I can’t use escapism in any of my usual outlets because all are causing me pain or issue and I can’t physically separate them. I physically cannot throw myself into work anymore than I am and I don’t want to because I’m exhausted and angry and overwhelmed. Multiply that for every other area and I don’t know what to do with myself at the end of the day besides feel a lot of anxiety I want to ignore. A friend who’s going through similar issues asked the right question with, “Do you think one day we won’t be two large life events away from breakdown?” Maybe?
I think the hardest part about everything being too much all at once, is that I don’t have a lot of control over making any of it easier, and I don’t have a set goal post or timeline to hold on to as a light at the end of the tunnel. In the past when things would get really overwhelming and hard, usually it was in my control, and there was a set date it would all be over. I’m doing everything in my control, the rest is out of my hands, indefinitely. Things could totally turn around tomorrow, or I might have to wait a whole year.
There’s not really an “At least,” here. It’s really hard for me to just sit in negative emotions and feel them. I don’t want to feel this way, and then have even worse news come in. It’s like a waste of time to feel bad if you know you might feel worse later. There are some glimmers day-to-day so everything isn’t completely shit, but the things that are shit are really, really shitty. Maybe my one At Least is that my relationships are actually pretty fine right now, and being able to get support from others emotionally has been invaluable. I’ve been able to show up for others and they’re showing up for me. I know I’m not alone. I’m just ready for some balance between it all.
What I’ve Been Up To Lately
(When I’m not being whipped around in every direction or racking up screen time to escape)
I just finished the latest season of The Great this weekend. It was wonderful and sad and hilarious. With an outrageous show like this, I worried they might Flanderize the characters, but we saw some of the most intense and compelling character growth this season. The end felt like it could stand on its own if they don’t get re-upped for more seasons, but I’m really hoping this isn’t on the chopping block.
After a particularly bad day last week David suggested we watch Mama Mia (almost as a concession to me, he’d never seen it and it’s something I always bring when trying to decide what to watch) and it helped so much! It’s the perfect cheer up movie!
We’ve still been keeping up with Ted Lasso, but we’ve relegated it to background noise while we play our respective video games. This (last?) season is just not very good. There are way too many storylines and none of them are done well.
One of the big things making my life especially hard is a pretty large, intense project I’m a part of. I’ve become a de facto lead on it in the last couple of weeks for a variety of reasons, and one of the most frustrating things I’ve been dealing with is everyone coming to me to vent about what they’re worried about and ruminating on all of the things they think need to happen but are not providing any actual solutions or things they actually need to feel better. Lots of wanting to make decisions off of bad vibes rather than quantifiable issues. I’ve introduced the very basic CBT concept of Structured Worry Time to the team which we’ve started doing at a weekly meeting to reduce the amount of general nonsense coming to me, and it seems to be working? I created this sheet for my own personal use a few years ago, and now it’s becoming relevant in the context of work.
Observing Niche Community Drama:
Did any other Spelling Bee fans see the absolute drama that went down in the Spelling Bee Forum comments section when NYT Games linked the grid/hints to the new Spelling Bee Buddy last week? I thought it was neat and helpful?? People really hate it!! It looks like they brought the basic grid back to the main page because of all the hate, but I’m still using the Buddy because it’s helping me get to Queen Bee consistently!
In other niche community drama, I follow (but don’t post in) r/truespotify. Apparently there is a limit to how many songs you can add to a playlist on Spotify (10,000), and one listener is upset because now they have to toggle between 2 separate playlists to hear all of their favorite songs. 1. How do you have that many favorite songs??? 2. Why would you want that diverse of a shuffle pool? Does everyone not make specific mood playlists or just listen to albums?? Seems like there’s 2 schools of thought and it’s contentious.
And that’s about it really. I hope everyone can take good care the rest of this Sunday, whatever that may be!