Because it happens to the best of us…

We all have bad days. And sometimes, those bad days become bad weeks. On rare occasions those bad weeks become a bad month. I’m not ready to trash this month yet, but I am totally over this week. At work right now I have a lot on my plate and have been fairly stressed out.

Then, this week, things got stressful at home, because I had several freelance project deadlines this week. I was pretty ready to pull out my hair. I even started thinking that maybe I was crazy to undertake a new business while still working full-time – Okay, maybe I am a little crazy. But I was thinking that maybe it was a bad kind of crazy.

When my life gets crazy, my natural reaction is to want to hide. I get so stressed out about how much work I have that I stop being able to actually accomplish anything. I freeze. Projects that should take a few hours stretch into days. Let me tell you, this is a BAD response to stress.

One way I’ve come up with over the years to get myself out of my own head and back into a productive frame of mind is by focusing on something that is completely unnecessary. One way that I do that is by delving full-fledged into a book. Unfortunately, that generally results in me reading as much as or more than doing work. And it results in me getting even less sleep, because I tend to get so into books that I can’t put them down. So, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

This week, when things got bad I did something different. It just so happened that my bad week peaked yesterday. You know how some people sometimes say they feel like they’ve been hit by a bus? Well, I felt the way the wicked witch of the east must have felt after the house fell on her.

Well, yesterday was also the day that my monthly book club got together to review our most recent book (Rumspringa, if you’re interested). I really enjoy book club for a lot of reasons, but mostly just the idea of sitting down with literary people and discussing literary work appeals to me – and actually tends to live up to my expectations. I almost didn’t go yesterday because I knew I still had several things to finish up and wasn’t feeling great.

But last minute I decided I would go after all.

It was refreshing. Focusing on and discussing the book, which I had already read, had the same effect that reading normally does. It let me forget everything that I was stressed out about. I enjoyed hearing everyone else’s points of view and opinions on the book. I shared mine. It was a small group (five people last night) but it turns out it was exactly what I needed.

After recharging my batteries I came home and went right through two assignments in no time. I think they both came out really well, and I no longer felt that the pile of work was insurmountable. Then, today at work I stayed an extra half and hour and finished some of the assignments there that I had hanging over my head. Tonight, I feel much better. I actually have time to relax a bit, answer the emails that have been in my inbox all week and I might even watch a TV show.

I remember why I’m doing all the craziness that I’m doing – because I love these things, want to be doing them and feel passionately about this writing-thing. Maybe I should write that down so I don’t forget it again.

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