I didn’t lose power, I didn’t lose anything really other than maybe another hour of sleep. But today felt like it started like many of mine do–tired and resistant to the idea of leaving my bed. The overcast skies were of no help either.
Today is another day. A day for work and making meals and fighting the never-ending battle of being overrun by toys in almost every inch of my house. It started with the no-less-than ten-minute game of “clothe the toddler” as he playfully scrambles from room to room while I chase after him, trying to squeeze on another article of clothing. By the time we had finally packed the car and headed to preschool I thought we had made it. We got there, albeit late, and now the day could start anew as I spent the next few hours kid-free. But as I drove over to work at a new-to-me coffee shop with a friend, I struggled to gather my thoughts and my fatigue.
I arrived feeling disheveled and out of place. This wasn’t my usual work spot on the couch. It was full of lively college students and young adults with their multi-colored hair and trendy green coats. My computer needed an outlet to survive, which meant wedging myself in the middle of a small bench to claim access to the power strip. It was loud and full of stories, but made it hard to write mine.
As I attempted to get in a groove and focus, I realized my wedding ring I’m constantly adjusting was left at home due to going rock climbing last night. My back-up hair tie was also gone from my wrist, and I have nothing to fidget with. Suddenly I’m surprised to be staring at a blank page without a clue what I will write.
Am I in over my head? What am I doing here? If I can’t manage a simple thing like showing up to a new coffee shop without feeling like a total klutz, how will I convince someone to hire me for more freelance assignments? What if I’m not a real writer anyway? If I can’t manage the first sentence, how will the next 1,500 words of this assignment ever seep out?
That toddler who needs to be picked up in an hour? I can barely seem to get him dressed in time for school and am often counting down the hours until nap time or bedtime. What if I’m not cut out for this? I’m not that mom who makes sensory bins or has a new project for him each day. Sure, we go on long walks around town and hit up some museums occasionally, but often our biggest outing of the week is the grocery store. And it’s an Aldi week…the prices are good, but I don’t feel like I have the patience for the manual labor that trip requires.
Some days I feel more in the zone, more confident and capable. More grateful and maybe more rested. But regardless of off days or on days, I have to remember we as humans will experience both. We can’t constantly achieve and succeed. It’s not all upward motion. We need to go down to go up, or even just to go forward. There will be doubts, questions, or feelings of inadequacy. There will be “meh” cloudy days that no amount of caffeine can pep things up. Not even bad, terrible days, just off days. Days of feeling like a klutz and mentally disorganized.
Today might be off for me. It might even be a total wash, only time will tell. But I’m still doing it. I’m a writer and a mom, a wife and friend. It’s just a matter of continuing to show up–whether feeling on or off.
Who knows, maybe the off days define us more than the on ones?