Not-so-great days

I thought I might take a break from writing today, but some force within doesn’t want me to do that.

Maybe it’s fear. I’m afraid if I stop writing, I’ll go back to the habit of letting it build up for months, or years. Or the fear that if I stop writing, the blues will return, stronger and more determined than ever.

I have had a pretty decent “winning streak” since 2017 kicked off. It’s still Feb. 5 at the time of my writing this, and I have only had only two not-so-great days.

Before I count my blessings (and I will), I’d like to recap those couple of days. Maybe reflection will help me have a better handle on future challenges.

Not-so-great day: Number one

I encountered a situation at work where I looked bad in front of the boss because of someone else’s oversight. A project was long overdue and I hadn’t been able to do my part. I was finally able to get some work done in a timely fashion, but I absolutely hate waiting on other people. Especially when there’s an agreed-upon deadline.

I bulled through the project as best as I could, keeping my boss in the loop on the progress on my end. I didn’t get a draft in that day, but it was ok.

I came home more exhausted than normal. I told my wife that my “winning streak” had come to an end. It wasn’t a horrible day, or anything, but I wished I could have handled it better. I had been put on a different medication by my doctor, one that would help me deal with anxiety. And, up until that point, it worked beautifully. On that day, it did keep me from a meltdown. I’m not sure what kind of meltdown I would have at work, but I’m sure I don’t want to find out.

That shitty day gave way to a nice, productive weekend. The wife and I cleaned out a bunch of crap from the boys’ rooms and the closet. We got shit done. It was just what I needed.

Keeping the hands and body moving, for me, keeps the blues at bay. I suppose it’s because you find yourself working at a task that you know you can finish. And when you stop to look at what you’ve done, however small it might seem, you feel a little more confident about yourself.

Fuck the blues. Just the feeling, not the musical genre. Love the genre.

Not-so-great day: Number two

This not-so-great-day was today. I had a fun day planned with the boys. We were gonna go into town, have lunch, visit this candy store called Rocket Fizz (which is bad ass, by the way), and get some new shoes.

Things started getting frustrating before we even got out the front door. The boys were being whiny, wanting to stay home and watch TV. I told them that I felt like they were being very ungrateful. I had a nice day planned where we could get out of the house and go somewhere cool.

I let them pick the restaurant (to my surprise, they actually agreed on one). From the restaurant, to the bookstore, to the candy store, my youngest son just simply would not listen to me. I had to remind him, on many occasions, 1) to watch where he was going, 2) to not pick up things off the shelf, 3) to get buckled up in a timely manner. He wouldn’t eat the food he ordered at the restaurant (and I’m grateful that he at least didn’t complain about being hungry afterward).

Now some things are clear to me now that weren’t so earlier:

  1. My boys hate shopping, even if it’s for stuff they need.
  2. Luke had wanted to play with me in the backyard, and we ended up not doing that.
  3. I felt like I paid more favorable attention to Logan because he was behaving better. And I think Luke picked up on it pretty quickly. Bad behavior usually comes after he feels like he’s not being favored (or not getting attention).
  4. Finally, and probably most importantly, we did the things I wanted to do.

We hardly did anything the boys wanted to do this weekend. We didn’t play outside. We didn’t wrestle on the trampoline. The only thing we did together that I know at least Logan wanted to do was watch the Super Bowl. That’s it.

So with Luke’s poor behavior slowly wearing on my nerves all day, it’s no wonder today wasn’t the greatest.

When Lacey got home from work, I told her a little bit about what was going on, about my frustration. I stepped outside and sat on the tailgate of my Tundra.

I felt the blues creeping up from out of the depths. Why bother with any of it, it told me. You should give up and ignore him.

I’ve come to realize that the solitude I have loved all my life has been comendeered by the depression. It wants me to be alone. It tells me to go off by myself because I’m better off being invisible than giving any effort. Now, if I seek solitude, it must be for the right reasons. Hence, why I ride solo.

I talked to Luke calmly before he went to bed. I don’t like to go to bed angry at my family. It’s one thing I learned from the Christian Bible that I think anyone can agree with. I tried explaining to him how it makes me feel when he doesn’t listen. It’s a speech I’ve said many times. I’m sure he’s got it practically memorized. But he doesn’t understand how it makes me feel until it’s too late, and I’m in his face because he’s pushed all my buttons.

I made him feel better by promising him that we’d play on the trampoline this week. He loves that. And I do, too. Even though I get hit in the nuts at least once every time we go out there.

The upshot

The things that can contribute to a not-so-great day can come on suddenly, or you can get worn down. Or maybe a combination of both (which sounds horrible). I never wake up hoping for an easy day. I want to be ready for whatever comes my way. I want to have the strength to overcome anything. I suppose it’s a form of positive thinking.

I’m glad I have people in my life who love me as much as I love them. And I’m also glad that not everything is easy. I tell my sons, on an almost daily basis, that the worthwhile things they’ll do in this life will take effort. And they’ll fail from time to time.

I need to accept the fact that not every day is going to be great. That I won’t handle everything as well as I’d like. That outside forces don’t care, or understand, what’s going on in my head. But I can learn from these experiences.

And, barring some huge meteor of death hurtling towards us, there’s always tomorrow.

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