Stories from a life in progress.

Confronting failure

Today being Monday, I need to face some things that I have been not looking forward to since last Friday.  The Friday on which I had a meltdown and threw over a fair number of my professional responsibilities because I simply couldn't face them.

It's been a busy month.  I've had a lot of articles to write, which is good for collecting some money; but I feel like I've been running as fast as I can to keep up with it all, and Friday was the part where I tripped from exhaustion and tumbled head over heels into a ditch.

It was demoralizing, because while I knew I felt exhausted, I also saw all the times where I didn't get to work as quickly as I could, and I wonder if I could have kept up better if I had better work habits.  Then again, so many times this month I have just plain felt like I couldn't think anymore, whether or not more articles demanded to be written, and I wished I could just stop.  I have been thinking all month that if I could just get ahead of the schedule it would be better -- but on the days when I only had one or two things to write, I simply failed to make myself write more than I strictly had to.  I don't know whether to blame myself for laziness or give myself credit for just being overcooked and justifiably weak-willed.

On Friday I had some training sessions for new responsibilities I am being asked to take on, new and entirely unfamiliar responsibilities, and apparently that was the last straw.  Learning something new takes a lot of time and effort, and I feel like I don't have any time or effort to spare.  I listened with dread through the training sessions, and then promptly and quietly freaked the frack out.  I did write my editors to inform them I was incapable of taking care of what I was supposed to do, and then huddled in a chair for several hours, not doing much and trading the weight of work for a different kind of weight.  The weight of failure.

I'm not going to argue whether such a weight is justified or not, and if anyone tries to argue it with me I'm not going to engage.  The point is, whether it is a correct weight to bear or not, I'm still bearing it and intellectual arguments are not going to shift it.  They never have done.  They won't now and I'm not going to try using them.  This kind of burden needs more than intellectual twiddling to shift: it needs the weightier tool of truth.  Only truth can dislodge it, break it up and carry it away.

In the meantime, while I wait on truth to work, it's Monday and there are still responsibilities to carry.  I've made a list of just the bare essentials, and it doesn't seem like it goes far enough -- but there are seven things on it, and most of them will take a fair amount of emotional energy and careful writing to people I don't know very well.  That's actually hard, and I may as well recognize it from the outset.  Whether or not it OUGHT to be hard, it is hard for me and I'll put a pin in that truth and keep it.

I don't know how anything is going to turn out.  I feel like my working life is rather a shambles, and I don't know how to start coping with the mess.  Nonetheless, it's Monday and there are things to do.  I suppose I'll start by doing those and then see what happens next.