It’s not even that things are that bad, or that stressful. Sure, I biffed the garage door last week, necessitating that I use the remainder of my personal time from work — until my work anniversary next month, anyway, when my vacation days renew. As far as work itself goes, it’s a little stressful and scattered right now, and there are a few fires to put out, but it’s not making me dread going to work every day or anything. And, yeah, my at-home to-do list is extra-long, but that’s nothing new.

No, I really just feel… well, I can’t really describe it. Not quite stressed out, and not quite overwhelmed. Not so much a defeatist attitude as the feeling that the treadmill is throwing me off the back. Or, for those of you who (like me) watched American Gladiators in the early ‘90s, like I’m holding steady on the Reverse Treadmill at the beginning of the Eliminator.


There are just a bunch of little things that keep piling on and piling on, and I really only have so many hours I can squeeze out of a day — which makes it worse when my mindset isn’t where I’d like it to be and instead of being productive after my son goes to bed, I fall face first into a bag of popcorn and a mini-marathon of Good Eats on Netflix. Or when I waste half an hour figuring out why Google Chrome and Windows 10 don’t seem to play nicely, so I can’t upload a simple image for my blog post without resorting to the new Micro$oft browser, Edge. But anyway.

I’m not going to regurgitate my entire to-do list here, but I have several on-going messes I need to clean up around the house, I have Fall cleanup and planting to tend to in the garden, I have multiple work projects going on at once, and I have a self-imposed deadline of losing 12 pounds in five weeks. Also, thanks to me having to take so much time off in two-hour increments for car maintenance, haircuts, and Connor’s doctor appointments, I am all out of time off of work. (Except actual sick time. I can still get sick.)

If I want to get things done, I need to prioritize and be OK with some things at the bottom of the list not getting done until later — or not at all. It’s a matter of consequences, really. Therein lies the problem: lots of things in my queue have been deprioritized multiple times. I know I would feel happier with a clean home office, a clean closet, family photos framed and hung on the walls, Connor’s notable art projects from school either scanned or framed or put into an album. But it all takes a back seat to the more visible or time-sensitive tasks: gardening, daily household chores, child rearing. And sleep. I need to get to sleep earlier if I want to sleep better.

I’m stuck in the same damn spot on that reverse treadmill. I need a boost — or a new strategy — to get some actual momentum.

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