When Life Gets in the Way of… Well, Life

There are only so many hours in the day, and no matter how well we plan or organize ourselves, unexpected hurdles will eventually find a way to impede the path. We can only anticipate so much, and each of us can only pile our plates so high before the contents topple over and create a frustrating mess.

I had a different post planned for earlier this week, “Checking Our Perspective.” It didn’t make it. I had a draft, but I felt unsure about it—and then a few roadblocks got in the way of my being able to revisit it.

I work at my day job for an average of 45-50 hours each week, sometimes a little more. This blog is a passion project, but as it stands, I can only work on it during my spare time. Currently, I have an additional workload I’ve taken on during the weekends; it’s temporary, but it means I have no spare time unless I’m willing to compromise on my sleep. As luck would have it, I also needed to fill in for a coworker this week, adding a few more hours to my daily workload. I’m doing it happily, as this person would also cover me in a heartbeat, but the additional work ended up putting a massive dent in my carefully planned logistics.

“Checking Our Perspective” is going on the back burner. Even edited down, it delves too deeply into a few issues that might rub too many people the wrong way—and we just don’t know one another well enough to go there yet. “Shedding a Narcissist-Ex” is going to need to wait awhile too. I’d thought I was ready to share about that journey, but I am not. I learned some vital lessons from it, however, so it will remain floating in the queue.

Photo by julie aagaard on Pexels.com

I came to a slight breaking point yesterday. Just when I felt like my workload was going to topple all around me, my bathroom sink clogged. I’m talking a near-standstill. I tried to fish out the offending mass with a crochet hook, but that did nothing. I tried a plunger. Nada (save a lot of mucky water going everywhere). I began to fear I was going to have to get a plumber to look at the problem, and on top of the rest of my hectic schedule, the idea was overwhelming. My morning was half over, and I hadn’t been able to find the time yet simply to eat. It was that last straw on the camel’s back.

I’ll admit it, I cried for a few minutes.

But then I opted to leave the sink for an hour or so to drain, pushing myself to shift my focus back on work. I told myself, I can deal with this—one step at a time. I had to force myself to concentrate, but I was able to stay on task. I put some water on the stove to boil, hoping one last trick might fix my clogged sink, and then pushed through my morning tasks. I moved between work and the sink, hoping for the best but mentally preparing myself for the worst.

Two pots of boiling water later, I had the clog cleared.

At the end of the day, I patted myself on the back for working 11 hours and getting the sink cleared and cleaned (among one or two other tasks). I rewarded myself with some self-care: a long soak in a hot bath and extra meditation time. I made sure to take inventory of all I felt grateful for, and I emerged from my bath feeling both invigorated and relaxed.

Life is going to get in the way of itself every once in a while, but we can see either roadblocks or detours. Only one will keep us moving toward our goals. Remember, even tiny steps are better than none at all.


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