How does a day work?

I've been thinking about life again. You would think I would grow out of it. I am all inside out and discomfited (is that a word?). Things are out of joint. I think it is Yeats:

Turning and turning in a widening gyre
The falcon cannot see the falconer.
Things fall apart. The centre cannot hold.

I try to work but can settle at nothing. My attempt to work from home this week seems to be leaving chaos behind it, with good people failing and falling and sending me things which are poor and need to be done again. I think this is my fault. They are too inexperienced and trying to supervise them from a distance is clearly not working, not enough support, not enough interaction. I can tell that they do not understand what they have done wrong and although I am patient, partly because I think it is my fault, I can feel their anxiety. It is not comfortable.

Perhaps I do not have the temperament to work from home. Without people to talk to, meetings to attend, adrenalin to rush, I drift and fail to engage. Ian is away too so there is just too much time on my own, too much time at the computer, not enough chat and laughter. I am tired to my bones so that even three days of waking in my own bed with no travelling to do still find me hollow with it. I look in the mirror and see an old face. Where have I gone?

I am not a worrier: I am a doer. I used to have scant sympathy with my grandmother's fretting, worrying about everything and everybody as though the world would stop if she left off her worrying work. But I don't seem able to set aside the knowledge that some of my own people are not ok, not well or not happy. And Ian is tired too, pulled here and there by the needs of others.

I have tried the usual cure alls. I have walked round the garden and looked out and away at the view. I need to dig deep and be still.


  1. Oh Elizabeth....sometimes life just does this to us and we have no choice but to throw up our hands and go with it for a while. Sometimes we are so busy being busy that our psyches just baulk and brake and make us confront the darkness. But it's hard. I love (and loathe) those lines from Yeats - they have stalked me all my life.
    I guess life is saying, either race back and hurl yourself into busyness or take the tough road and find out what your soul wants and what your mind fears so much. Have you read the myth of the descent of Inanna?
    Big hugs......and a chick update needed please.

  2. I don't know what to say (for once) that won't sound trite. Is giving up work an option to focus on your house and garden and family - would that be enough for you? Or find a less stressful job where working from home is tenable? Easier said than done, I know.
    Take care, be gentle and easy on yourself - all this is not your fault after all, just a combination of factors that has built up and forced you into a dark place.
    There is light, there is joy, there are many many friends who care about you.

  3. I know this feeling well, Usually it's lessened if I step away from everything that is getting me down and take a break from it all and be a little selfish and indulge in some me time, locate my centre and then everything else seems to start fitting back into place. Usually a day or a weekend away with the iGit simply pleasing ourselves, has me back on track.

    Could you work from home as a consultant? Freelance? become more of a mechanic again? (that's what we have done) less responsibility, but the contract rates are high and compensate.

    Big Hugs, hope you feel more settled soon.


  4. I am glad you feel more like yourself today and wish I could think of something more useful or comforting to say other than I hope that life gets easier soon and you find the best way forward for you.

  5. Dear Elizabeth, given that you are going through so much at the moment it's not surprising (yeah? big help, Chris. What I'm trying to say, rather clumsily, is that this will pass. Glad to see from your common room note that you are feeling a bit better. CX

  6. Thinking of you Elizabeth. Take care of yourself.

  7. Oh I can so remember feeling just the way you do and trust me it does pass. Its something I think everyone who is creative and senstive feels from time to time. Its easy to say take time to let it flow over you but it will if you let it.

  8. The others have said it all already Elizabeth. Be kind to yourself. It's so easy to keep on going when you are in the thick of things; you are at home and the pace has slowed allowing you to recognise that you are exhausted and no wonder. Too much going on and the disappointment of not feeling solace in your beloved home just compounds it. as I said before, do whatever feels right whenever you can and REST however you can xx

  9. I can only be clumsy, too, Eliz, and say that I'm sorry, and that this will pass, and that you have a lot going on and sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not. Smile when you can, chicken xx

  10. I know that feeling oh, so well. The best thing I can say is that eventually, it will pass. Take good care of yourself, get plenty of rest, and just ride it out.

    I would love to hear how those chicks are doing if you feel up to writing us a little post about them.

  11. I don't think a lot of people realise how difficult it is to shift gears vis a vis your work. Working from home is totally different from working with lots of people, rushing around etc. There is far less "evidence" that you're getting anything accomplished, everything has to be done without face to face contact, and you have to be very disciplined not to get up and faff about.
    But see this as an opportunity to test the waters. If you can get yourself into a bit of a schedule, perhaps you will adapt, or perhaps you will come to the decision that working alone isn't for you.

  12. I found working from home (merely as a secretary) for four different people was actually nerve racking. Working late at night (in case the other four clients rang me in the morning)had me suffering panic attacks and I had to stop work for a couple of months. Was sent to a physiologist who came to the conclusion I could not way the word "no". As soon as I learnt that magic word I settled down to a slower pace. Do hope you sort out everything.

  13. As Jane and the others say - life is sometimes like this - we need the dark to appreciate the light and we need to evaluate and learn and grow. It is hard when you feel like this, but go with it don't fight it - there are lessons in the darkness and it will pass.

  14. i work from home too elizabeth and i know what you mean. what i found really cheered me was ichat meetings (skype works too) with the coworkers! it's giggly, productive, and satisfies the need for a little human contact.

    maybe you and your gang could have daily ichats to make sure all are on task?

    feel better... smell the roses ;)

  15. (It's later now, DO hope things are a little less bad now xx)

  16. Hello to you, Elizabeth, on Friday evening.

    Lots of wise folks have alread left you very good words.

    I just wish that you and I did live closer together. It would be wonderful to get to know you better. My instincts tell me that we might have much in common about how we view work, play, responsibility, hopes for the future.

    An ocean apart, it is still so good to be able to connect this way with you.


  17. It's so difficult, stretching oneself in so many different directions - you get to a point where you don't think you can stretch any more without something breaking. You clearly have extremely high standards and take your work responsibilities seriously, which is laudable, but I think there are times when you need to stand back, nurture yourself and not be so hard on yourself. You have such a lot going on at the moment - I do feel for you. As others have said, this time will pass. In the meantime, make sure you look after yourself. xx

  18. As a latecomer to these words.. I can identify with them.
    And as others have said the black dog feelings will pass.
    I find screaming works well on such occasions!!

  19. Wish I could add something to the wise words already posted above. Hope best wishes will suffice for now. Take care. F

  20. I think that you will make a success of whatever you chose to do.
    Attributed to Camus
    He said 'Come to the edge my friend'
    They said 'We are frightened'
    He said 'Come to the edge'
    They came
    He pushed them...and they flew!

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