Have you ever had one of those days when you feel like any decision you make is out of your control? Like anything you do is simply following a predetermined track of footsteps already laid down for you? I had one of those days yesterday.
My day started off well enough, meeting with an amazing group of people from church to share what creative endeavour we had been working on for the past month. Each bit of work was beautiful, and really encouraged me of the benefits of consistency with my own writing. It was also a great way to catch up with friends on a rainy Saturday morning.
After that, I settled in to romp around Ancient Greece in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. Earlier in the week I had told myself I was going to put my feet up and rest after the previous six months hard work to get this first edit of my novel manuscript done. This was fine, and it was incredibly fun, but then I couldn’t get myself up off my wingback armchair, not even to go and pick up some dinner. (Think “evil genius” for the chair, and you’re on the right track.)
You might think “Well, that’s just being addicted to videogames.” But this being unable to shift my focus and change the thing I’m doing is true for nearly any activity I set my mind to. If I go up to the kitchen to get a snack and see the dishes need doing? See you later next two hours while I clean the kitchen and tidy up. Even though doing the dishes is one of my favourite chores, it might not be the best use of time. If I start writing a story before an engagement I’ve scheduled with friends? It’s almost a certainty I’ll be unable to peel myself away from the story in time to be on time to the prior engagement. What if I start reading and responding to the blog posts of the wonderful people here on WordPress? I can get lost for hours in the beauty and deep thought to be found on many a blog.
This used to cause me great consternation. I would be annoyed I hadn’t accomplished the array of tasks I’d set myself for the day, I would be annoyed I’d sat in one place the entire day, and on top of that I would not have enjoyed the usually enjoyable thing I’d spent my time doing!
Strangeness is going to happen in our lives. Sometimes our active choices are going to be the reason for it, and sometimes it will seem like it has come completely out of nowhere. We can’t change that. What we can adjust, is how we react to this strangeness.
Instead of being annoyed, I look at how things have been going for the few days or week beforehand to identify patterns or a particular event that may have led to one of these days. If there are any identifiable things, I add them to my mental list of things to keep an eye out for. Yesterday was not a bad day, just odd, and I know if left unchecked I can settle into habits and decisions that will lead from odd to bad days.
* * *
What does an ‘odd day’ look like for you?
How do you bounce back from one of these days?
* * *
Life ebbs and flows. Some motion we can predict, other motion will catch us off guard like a tsunami. Sometimes the only thing for us to do is follow the advice of the Small Town Titans, one of my favourite bands, in their song “The Ride”:
Keep on keeping on being awesome.