You know it’s a solid Monday when the last thing you get to do before bed is clean up the projectile vomit of your 15 year old bulimic cat. Which is apparently what I get to do tonight. Today was already a solid 1 on the Likert scale of days as I spent the last few hours of the day trying to both figure out how to reduce the load time of our landing page and entertain a four year old who needs attention. Now I get to go around to the 5 (FIVE!) piles of cat puke and clean them up, scraping the grooves in the wood flooring with my fingernails so that it comes out.
One thing I miss about the office (of the two things, free donuts being the other) is the more natural impulse to get up and leave the computer throughout the day. I’ve noticed that my eyes are shot and my head is tight and my body aches for the sweet release of death at the end of most days when I’ve done nothing but stare at the computer all day. In the office, at least there were meetings, mostly meaningless, but away from the desk at least. Now, meetings are still just staring at a computer 24 inches from your face. It begins to wear on you. I’m only a pretend manager too, not that many meetings, mostly because I refuse a bunch of them, so I have no idea how real managers do it, their entire day soaked up in Zoom.
At least today was warm. Seven days ago, I think the high was 12. Today it was close to 65. The difference between 65 and 12 for Texans is like the difference between Ann Richards and Ted Cruz. Don’t give me any shit, analogies are never perfect. So Wobbles and I went for a walk to the park which helped.
I’m not burned out from the work though that’s certainly some of it. I don’t even have to work that much. It’s the monotony mostly. The only thing that makes today different from tomorrow is the five piles of regurgitated Blue Mountain I’m putting off dealing with. Probably just jinxed tomorrow. Having a kid and trying to juggle work and her is more than most people imagine. Luckily, it looks like she’ll be going back to school in June which frankly can’t get here soon enough.
I’m reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird which is a treatise on writing. The book opens with a story about her brother who has had 3 months to write an essay about birds. It’s due tomorrow and he hasn’t started it and is at the table, weeping inconsolably at the despair of writing an essay on who knows how many birds in 12 hours. And his father sits down beside of him and answers the question of how this will get done: “Bird by bird buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
I think that’s sort of going to be my approach to the days ahead. I can sort of rationally see the end of the tunnel way off in the distance but it’s so faint that I have no proof it’s not a mirage. And the only way to get there is day by day. Reminds me of the old saying “how do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.” Tasks that seem insurmountable are if you look at the totality. But reaching totality requires ten thousand tiny steps along the way, each mostly in the same direction. I think that’s the only way to make it through this crazy time. Speaking of eating an elephant, I’ve got some cat puke to clean up.