Trying to Better Today

As predicted, yesterday was a bit tough for me as the first day back to our standard routine. Mostly, the challenge lay in fending off the loneliness that comes from being alone all day without much human contact, and certainly without the companionship of my spouse.

I’m a morning person. I fire in all cylinders (or at my peak firing rate at least) in the early morning, and this energy, clarity, and positive resolve slowly dwindles over the course of the day. I was focused on the morning, hard at work at my job and did some writing and checked other tasks off my to-do list with fervor and a good attitude. I was aware of the likelihood that I’d be feeling down or upset about the changes and end of vacation, but fended off those feelings by staying productive and committed to handling the transition as gracefully as possible. I missed Ben and the more recreational feel to the prior two weeks, but I also felt driven to work hard and keep a good attitude, remembering the fond memories of break while honoring the job that I enjoy doing and my desire to stay emotionally strong.

As the day went on, the emptiness grew. Time was dragging, the bitterly cold weather deterred me from taking a nice break, and I missed the companionship. I was also stressed out because my junky old car was no longer spraying windshield wiper fluid at all, despite filling the reservoir on Monday. Because it is such a low sports car, it gets especially dirty and grimy this time of year, as it takes the brunt of salt and slush spray from other vehicles on the road. It’s not drivable without this spray functioning and I had errands to do where I felt tense, unsafe, and frustrated that I had to keep pulling over to manually wipe it down.

In the afternoon, one of my friends who does a lot of her own work on her motorcycle and car had the patience to walk me through some troubleshooting steps via online chatting. Since I rarely drive and hate everything about cars and driving, I’m as ignorant as people get when it comes to fixing my vehicle beyond the bare minimum skill set needed for basic operation.  She guided me through trying to unclog the holes where the spray comes out. I was partially successful, as now a gentle gurgle spews up instead of the bone-dry situation I started with. It’s still lacking the pressure and usual spray, so I have more work to do or another issue to resolve somewhere further down the chain, but it was a start and it was fulfilling to at least make a dent in remedying the problem. I was so thankful that she had the time and provided the support to get me going on tackling what I consider to be a scary and avoid-at-all-costs machine. Unfortunately, the tinkering gave me a horrendous headache that didn’t let up until I fell asleep and today, although I’m sure unrelated, my stomach is so upset. It’s already been a long morning since rising at 3…

The good news is that I finished a difficult work project yesterday that was so cognitively fatiguing and focus-requiring that I could only work on it in short spurts. That meant that I was clocked out for large chunks of the day, not making needed income and mentally unoccupied. The latter consequence can be hard when I’m depressed or anxious because it opens the doors and windows for doubt, loneliness, anxiety, and despair to creep in. In the end, I wrapped up the project in the afternoon and was very proud of the finished product. This satisfaction boosted my morale and the next project I was assigned is quite different than what I tend to normally handle, so I’m looking forward to thinking differently and creatively to address this new challenge. It’s a welcome change of pace and I’m always excited to take on difficult and varied projects at my job. I pride myself on being somewhat of a job-related chameleon, able to successfully handle any sort of project, regardless of subject matter or format. It’s something I find so rewarding, engaging, and self-esteem strengthening.

So today I get another shot at staying positive and composed through this transition, awful weather, and sickness. I’d give my morning performance yesterday an A-, a C- at lunch, and back up to a B by bedtime. That leaves plenty of room for improvement, and I’ve got the motivation to compartmentalize my stomach ache and make today as good as I can.

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