I've been reflecting recently that for all the time I spend complaining about the holiday season and how stressful October-November-December can be, it's actually May -- and particularly the second half of May -- when things actually fall apart.
It's not that I never noticed it before, it's just that I finally started looking back and thinking, Wow, that really has been a years-long pattern, hasn't it? ...Probably because this year it's been particularly acute. We've had a death in the family; my allergies are acting up and my sinuses are freaking out; the boys had their STAAR tests -- in person, at their schools, which completely threw off our usual morning pattern for a week; we've had so much rain that it's causing problems with our house; then we had the funeral, with all the attendant logistics of family in town; and now the boys are finally out of school.
Not all of that is wholly unpleasant, obviously, but taken together it's been a lot. We're exhausted -- Beautiful Wife, me, and the boys alike.
But now we've finished Memorial Day Weekend and reached the month of June. Personally, I've bottomed out. I stopped reading a book right in the middle of it, not because it wasn't good -- it was excellent -- but because I just didn't have the energy to process it. I turned back to an old favorite and started re-reading that instead, and even then it's been slow going. I'd been working my way through the new collection of Wolfenstein games, but stopped about a third of the way through New Colossus and tried something simpler... and then dropped that and went back and replayed one that I know so well I could practically play it in my sleep.
Writing progress? Well... not completely hopeless. I signed up for a writing class in the hopes of keeping my brain focused on the Shadow Academy project, and I've been dropping little character sketches here on the Blog o' Doom to much the same purpose, and it actually seems to have worked: I haven't made any real progress since the beginning of May, but I don't feel like I've lost my way with the thing completely, either. I have done a fair amount of fiction about my D&D characters here on the blog, but I blame my DM for that.
Work is in a similar condition: I have, at this point, only the vaguest idea of what I've been working on and what I need to be working on. Fortunately, I keep a checklist of work projects (on paper, for the sheer visceral joy of crossing them off when I get something done) and looking over it I see that I've actually finished some things that I hadn't marked off yet; that's a nice feeling. Also, I've spent the last several months alternating between working from home (Monday - Wednesday) and coming into the office (Thursday & Friday), which has been absolute hell on my sense of routine; with the boys out of school, I can go back to working in my tiny little corner of the
morgue server room and maybe reestablish some patterns.
So today's going to be a day to stop and regroup: clear out my email, look over my projects, clean up my desk, and just generally try to get myself grounded again so that I'm ready to move ahead with all the things I need to do.
But not until after I finish my tea.
Also, and apropos of absolutely nothing, I have this song stuck in my head: