Down Days

It’s a down day. The weekend was great; my sister-in-law was in town, and we got a chance to see my daughter’s choir concert. And the weather’s pretty good, with spring finally more or less definitively here (though that also brings the need to figure out lawn mowing soon). But it’s a down day nonetheless.

I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe because I’m still recuperating on sleep I lost over the last couple of weeks due to some urgent work deadlines. Or maybe it’s because I’m at “that” phase in my fiction writing process. (I don’t think I’ve commented here on my perception that each major undertaking includes Despair as a distinct, unavoidable project phase.) Or perhaps it’s allergies. Or laziness. Or some other as-yet-undefined factor.

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Down days happen. This is simple truth. Once you’ve hit a down day, about the only thing you can do about it is plug away, avoid any major life-changing decisions, and hope not to lose too much ground in the process. Oh, and get as much sleep as you can. And eat. Eating is important. Calories in one’s blood sugar, I’ve found, can have a nearly miraculous impact on negative moods.

As things happened this morning, I wound up getting pulled into several time-sensitive work deadlines, which didn’t do much to improve how I felt but also didn’t leave me much time to vegetate, which is all to the good, I suppose. It was a bit disconcerting finding that I had to restrain myself from bursting into tears at the shoddy writing one of our clients had sent our way for us to use, but I managed. (This is one of those times when I’m glad I don’t share my home-office space with anyone I have to play pretty for.)

And now it’s midafternoon. I’ve got a few other things I want to get done before I knock off for the day. We’ll see how that goes.

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On other fronts: today saw my latest post at Mormon Mommy Blogs, talking about 10-year-olds and featuring a prized photograph of my oldest son from about dozen years ago, up in a tree with two of his friends. Feel free to check it out.

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2 Responses to “Down Days”

  1. Debbie says:

    On Despair as a project stage: I have noticed this myself, though I have termed it chaos. When I was indexing books I found that after all my careful pre-planning, when I started actually making entries the thing would quickly descend into chaos and I would feel that every entry was random and unconnected to anything else. At some point it would all start to make sense again and feel like there was some structure there.

    Now that I’m writing academic papers instead I have noticed the same thing with data analysis and also with the writing process itself. I just have to keep going through the chaos, and eventually order will emerge. Still waiting on that for life in general.

  2. LauraN says:

    Yeah, it’s a standard part of the process of creating or bringing forth. I think of it as analogous to morning sickness. You feel vaguely to moderately ill all the time, and you burst into tears for the tiniest reasons. Yep, you’re in the early stages of giving birth to something.

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