This is the first night this week that I haven’t brought my work laptop home with me to either finish up some client work (now dangerously close to being done) or finish up a freelance article that had become an unfinished albatross around my neck.
Last night I sat in front of the screen and forced myself to at least finish the bulk of the article, even with an interlude that allowed for a Dairy Queen run. The article was about delicious berries and how good they are for you, and eventually my brain was filled with “What’s that verb (STRAWBERRY SUNDAE!) for what robots (STRAWBERRY SUNDAE!) … wait, what Frankenstein’s monster and robots (STRAWBERRY SUNDAE!) do when (STRAWBERRY SUNDAE!) they go berserk and at—(STRAW! BERRY! SUNDAE!)—tack their owners or creators? (STRAWBERRY SUNDAE! STRAWBERRY SUNDAE! STRAWBERRY SUNDAE!)”
And I don’t even particularly like strawberries; when it comes to ice cream, I am a caramel or butterscotch person. Damn, my writing is effective!
So, after extinguishing that excuse by getting a sundae, and a Dutch Bros. coffee for alertness, it was back in front of the machines (desktop for research, laptop for writing) for another hour or so before giving up for the night.
Today I figured out what the challenge was: Discussing chemical components (antioxidants) and their newly suggested health benefits (improved memory, decreased age-related mental decline) … but keeping the focus on the food itself, so the reader would leave thinking, “I should eat some berries” and not, “Does my diet contain enough antioxidants?” In about 550 words.
I finally finished the article today, and am delighted that I have cleared it off my plate. As I told Mr. Torres, I could fart 700 words in 10 minutes, so it really troubled me that this piece sat unfinished for more than a week.
I’m sure part of it was because after a full workday spent editing and rewriting, I just didn’t have the extra brainpower required for after-hours editing and rewriting. And another part was likely the general malaise lingering around Casa Flor in the wake of our various illsnesses, which hardly lends one to productivity.
I haven’t even had the energy to move my ass to the living room and watch TV, even as episodes stack up in the DVR queue. Meanwhile, mornings have become a ritual struggle not because of any dread of where I’m going (the office), but because of increasing attachment to where I have to leave (bed).
I believe this is the sort of situation that doesn’t get better — you have to make it better. Luckily, I’ve got a few positives to help push me over to taking action:
- This weekend is the first in a long time that I don’t have any mandatory Important Task That Must Be Done. So I can enjoy it leisurely and use it to recharge, rather than scurrying around feeling under the gun.
- I’m back to the gym! I’m not going to wrest away the Foursquare mayorship any time soon, but still, a regular workout routine helps invigorate body and spirit. (OK, now I’m sounding like the text of a different freelance article.)
In a happy-Friday note, I’m nominated for a work award that’s announced tomorrow! And even though I’m 99.9% sure that I will not be the person whose name is called*, the 0.1% that logic can’t control is still capable of getting excited.
* Most winners have not only performed their job exceptionally well — that’s supposed to be the norm at this company — but also gone above and beyond in a way that specifically helped the firm earn additional money. I would of course be delighted to be proven wrong, but my rationalism says I shouldn’t waste time practicing any speeches.