Far From Peak Efficiency

The last week or so has been rough. Between getting ready for the university to start up again, my kids’ school to restart, Denisa to teach again, the dog to housebreak, my current book to revise, and house construction projects to supervise, I am running on empty. I’ve tried to force through it in spite of the lack of fuel in the tank, but there are times that I just haven’t been able to.

It’s frustrating. I know that I’m operating far from my peak efficiency level, and that’s always something I strive to maintain. People remark how impressed they are that I can get so many things done and keep track of it all, but the biggest secret I have is that I plan things out well, and I leave plenty of time for relaxation. When I am rested and in a good mood, my head is clear, and I can get so much more done in an hour than I can when I’m stressed and overtired.

So I know the solution. Often, it’s enough for me to take a down day, or just set aside some time for some deep breaths and some reading. Something to take my mind off things. But right now, there’s no room for that. I know what’s in front of me, and I have to push through, like it or not.

Which is . . . okay. It’s not like I haven’t done that before. Most of the time, I just tuck my head down and get back to work instead of dwelling on how much time it’s all taking. I think the current mess is compounded by all the uncertainty. I’ve said it before: I’m the sort of guy who worries about what he’s going to do when he gets off a bus. Do I have my bag? Where is it? Who do I need to keep track of? What if someone else gets in the way? It’s a silly example, but it stands for a lot with me. My mind is constantly churning through the “what ifs,” which is fine and dandy under normal circumstances. I can think out the different scenarios and plan accordingly.

COVID laughs at my attempts to plan. I’m so tired of having to constantly add the disclaimers “As of right now” and “This might all change tomorrow.” True, I try to tell myself that all this practice with dealing with uncertainty should make me better at it when COVID finally goes away and I can breathe again, but that’s sort of like telling a drowning person to think of all the better lung capacity he’s working on.

It does help to vent and get it out of me. To acknowledge publicly that I’m going through a difficult time. (Which is probably why I’ve posted about this a number of times over quarantine.) I suppose somehow I just thought this would all be easing up by the time school was back on the horizon. That things would be more certain by then, and I could get back in the groove.

I don’t know where the groove went, but for now I am most definitely not in it.


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