Tag Archives: work

Being in the Right (Head) Place at the Right Time

26 Feb

How often does this happen to you?

After hours or even days of depression, procrastination and self-loathing, you finally find yourself with the energy and mood to do what you want/need to…but by then you’ve run out of time to do it. 

A couple cases in point, just from my last week:

At Work: (Not) Tackling a Mountain of Tasks

I spent one morning hungover (a story for another day) in meetings, struggling even to pay attention, let alone participate. Then a few more hours stressing over my workload, going out for smoke breaks and ruminating over my lack of productivity. 

Only when I had less than an hour left before I had to leave did I “snap out of it” and kick into the high gear I needed right after my morning meetings. In that last hour I got more done than in the previous eight…but I left with a mountain of unfinished tasks I promised myself I’d tackle over the weekend (not going well so far). 

At Home: Household Chores

Today I had the house to myself for five solid hours, and a manageable list of chores to go along with it. I spent half of it at the bar at the end of the street, and another hour watching Bill Maher, before doing the only productive thing I did all day – putting away a single hamper of already folded clothes. 

After another trip to the bar for a quick couple pints, and with 20 minutes before having to leave for my kid’s hockey game, it happened again. Only when I didn’t have the time to do it did I snap out of my rut and feel almost enthusiastic about tackling even the most onerous chores on my list. 

Sometimes it’s as if the only time I’m in the right mood to get something done is precisely when I don’t have the time to do it. 

What’s Your Secret?

I know I’m not alone so I want to hear your stories. And what I want to know just as much is, how do you align your mood with the time when you need it? 

Or…how do you end up in the right (head) place at the right time?

Shitcanned Day 1 – Genesis

31 Mar

I know, melodramatic, right?

The second part of the story is actually what I meant to write about in the first place (ADD’s fault for distracting me!), two things in fact that have been staring me in the face as rather poignant given recent events concerning my employment:.

1. A line from a movie I saw a couple days back, some sort of military, possibly apocalyptic action flick where a (I’m paraphrasing with character and line) a Secretary of Defense staring down an Attorney General who had just accused him of committing political suicide:

“See that’s the thing.  From the very moment I took my oath of office I did so knowing that the day would come when this job would end.  And when the end is just another foregone conclusion, it doesn’t seem bad at all”

2. At the risk of bolstering my self-esteem, a quote I just came upon in the book I’m reading, Joshua Ferris’s And Then We Came to the End:

“We took back all our ridicule and practically begged the man to continue, but he remained firmly and pathetically committed to his sober-eyed conclusion that he would never be anything but a copywriter.”

So…hope and inspiration – just not too much.

Shitcanned, Day 1

31 Mar

So the news from last night has settled in. I still feel liberated, motivated, yet I celebrated my new-found energetic freedom by spending the bulk of afternoon at a bar (after being dry more than a week) racking up a $40 tab. I accomplished nothing. Why?

On the other hand, maybe what I did today doesn’t add up to nothing after all; maybe letting the news sink in, getting my emotions and critic outta my head and onto the screen, ON TOP OF a dentist appointment, amounts to something, at very least more than nothing (hello CBT!).

Got Shitcanned Today…and couldn’t feel better

31 Mar

Thanks to the wonders of Amazon.com, with their promises of next day delivery and razor thin margins, my bookstore is closing down in a month.  If for no other reason than to record it, I thought I should post something tonight.

I know the news hit some of the staff hard.  I know a few have been there for as long as anyone can remember.  And I must admit I was slightly high during the staff meeting when our manager broke the news.  But I still feel great about the news!

I don’t want to jinx anything, but I feel I can get away with saying that I hope this is precisely the wake-up call that I need to light the fire under my ass to get a job that I think fits me.

Now…I’ve been working for 20 years.  I’ve owned my own business and I’ve worked for minimum wage.  Still to do: figure out what exactly “a job that fits me” means.

Afraid of Success

12 Mar

The flip side to my last post, Addicted to Failure, is what I suspect is a common fear among the depressed and anxious – a fear of success.  This string of thought comes to mind after yet another day off spent – aside from this post – almost entirely doing nothing but procrastinating and feeling sorry for myself.

I first remember thinking this not during my own struggles, but growing up with a parent with a veritable jambalaya of mental health issues; anxiety, bipolar disorder, a dash of agoraphobia and pinch of OCD tendencies, like a favourite from allrecipes.com with all ingredients found in the DSM-IV. There’ll be more on this in future posts I’m sure, but for some years I tried – unsuccessfully it would seem – to help my father find help for his mental illness, going as far as finding, chauffeuring and even attending with him sessions with various psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and CBT therapists.

After what seemed like little or no progress through these sessions, I couldn’t help but wonder how much my dad actually wanted to get better.  He had it great, so the theory went; living off of family savings, holding no more than a handful of part-time, minimum wage jobs and free of most adult responsibilities for the bulk of his adult life.  Maybe he was afraid of treatment succeeding out of fear that he’d need to rise to the role of functioning adult/wage-earner/father/role model, etc., reminding me of the famous George Bernard Shaw quote:

“With liberty comes responsibility.  That is why so many man dread it.”

Fast-forward to today, now some two decades later, I can’t help but make the same accusation of myself.  Am I afraid of the responsibilities I remember dutifully fulfilling as a younger man?  Because I’ve made some poor choices about my money and lifestyle, am I forever scarred with the fear of regaining the capabilities and self-confidence I once thrived on?

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