Last week was a little difficult. From a newly-complicated work situation, to growing stress about employment and housing after my upcoming move, to a low-level but lingering bug that seems to be sapping all energy… well, all I wanted to do this week was curl up on the couch with Zuzu and Ginger and watch television.
Much of what needs to be sorted out are projects whose results are not linked to effort. And I hate that—those are the worst tasks, the ones that haunt you with fears of insufficient effort, or improperly applied effort, or worse, futile effort. Tasks like applying to zillions of on-campus jobs, tasks like wading through the majority of scams to find the real rental listings.
This kind of job is hardest for me. I’m good at projects that allow me to monitor my progress. If I have to read 400 pages by next Friday, then I’ll make a chart for a bookmark and cross off each day’s accomplishment, happy as a clam. I can see my house getting cleaner when it’s scrub-down day. Even paying bills—as dreadful as I find that task—is a job whose end I can see.
But this stuff. Ugh. No end in sight. It’s just “do everything you can”, and that set of parameters doesn’t work well for a worrier like me. It frets me into stasis. Not a state that makes me particularly productive.
However, nonetheless and in spite of all that, it’s a new day. A new week. And today, I’m working on reorienting my expectations for this next week, cleaning my house (or, as I like to think of it, curating my collections), and trying to distance myself from these sneaking suspicions of futility. And the daylilies in my back yard? Icing on the cake.
*The title is, of course, courtesy of Nina Simone; the flowers are orange double daylilies, so named because they last only one day.