Spinning your wheels

I don’t know. It’s weird, right? Sometimes you do a lot of writing, or coding or designing or crafting or reading or running or lifting or skiing or whatever it is you do. And you’re untouchable. You’re floating gliding flowing, jumping over hurdles, feeling like the queen of the world. (We use matriarchal terms here.)

And then you’re not.

You’re frozen. You’re stuck like a piece of al dente spaghetti on the wall.

Everything gets more difficult, you don’t have any energy, you can’t remember what you were doing or why you were doing it and summoning up motivation to figure it out is… a losing effort.

So you maybe give up for a while or you put in some ho-hum effort or if it’s stuff you really can’t avoid then you do your best but it feels gross and awful and you hate it.

This continues for a while.

And then it stops.

The engine starts humming, the tracks straighten out, the fog clears, you can see where you’re going and you start picking up speed and everything’s feeling good again, somehow, and you might even make a big leap forward. You might pick up that thing you’ve been ignoring for a few days or weeks or months and tackle it with leveled-up skill which doesn’t make sense at all because you’ve been ignoring it for days or weeks or months.

But that happens. It does. It’s the human version of when a processor gets bogged down with too many things to do and the little spinny circle keeps spinning and you’re staring at it and nothing’s happening and you start to wonder if you should force quit everything.

Sometimes we get overloaded. Too much to process. And we need to, well, not force quit everything but maybe sit back in the chair and stare out the window and let the little circles spin. Maybe we can close down a few windows, lighten the load a bit. But mostly, it’s just being patient. Trusting that something is going on, that some kind of work is going on. It’s under the surface. It’s maybe not work that shows up as a produced item, a tangible result, a measurable change, an output of any kind. It’s more of the maintenance work, the de-gunking, the oil change, a little cleaning up and fine-tuning. And when it’s done, you’ll feel better. Clearer. And you’ll get back to it, whatever it is that’s waiting for you. It will still be there. If it’s not, don’t worry. You’ll find something else.