Yesterday was crummy. Adventure seemed to be nowhere in sight.
It began at work. I started the day well enough; I was pumped and ready to go after my three-day weekend. The snow had kept me trapped in the house long enough, and I so desired to be out among the living again. Sitting down at my desk, I skimmed over my to-do list for the day. It was a bit overwhelming, but I was determined–and with all my pent-up energy from the weekend, I was bound to make things happen. Within an hour or two, I was able to mark through one item on my to-do list–reading over a 20 page report. I felt so good that I immediately moved on to the next item, which was to read an article of about 60 pages. I sighed and dug in, but about halfway through, I had trouble focusing.
“That’s enough reading for now,” I told myself, “It is time to do something.”
So, I opened up a spreadsheet and began to work. After a few hours, I had finished that project as well, but I still lacked that sense of accomplishment that I longed for. You see, although I had “finished” my spreadsheet, I knew it was only for the day. I still had to consult with a few others before actually completing the work, and this was something I was unable to do today.
Setting that project aside, I once again consulted my to-do list. There were quite a number of things to do still, but that one project kept glaring back at me as if it were taunting me. For a moment, those words “spreadsheet project” were personified. I could hear them singing, “Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. You can’t get me,” in that same sing-song voice used by children on playground everywhere. I shook my head and quieted the voices before moving onto my next item.
Another report to read. However, I made less progress on this one than I did on the last, not even making it one paragraph in. At this point frustration set in. Why couldn’t I just focus? I have so much work to do. I need to just do it. Feeling anxious, I decided to take a break to grab lunch and check Facebook.
I ate my food rather quickly, but Facebook, with its barbed teeth, dug into my skin and sucked me into its time-wasting vortex for the rest of my lunch hour. By the time I returned to my office, I felt the aches of a migraine creeping on. Still, I was determined to work through this to-do list.
The article I needed to read was still up on my computer screen, but there was no way in the world I was going to read it then. Even looking at the computer screen hurt my eyes. Just then, a few of my coworkers came in with questions. I sighed, still frustrated that I wasn’t able to complete my work, but at the same time, I was relieved to spend some time away from this demon machine that seemed to be forcing my brain to collapse in upon itself.
I turned to answer their questions and got caught up in a bit of conversation. It was a welcome change of pace. However, all to soon my coworkers left my office, and Spreadsheet Project resumed his singing. At this point, I thought it was time to ignore him, so I decided to minimize his screen. Hidden behind him, however, was a slew of unread e-mails. So, I began working my way through those, finishing right at five o’clock.
As I gathered my things to leave, I still couldn’t help but feel anxious. When I logged off of my computer for the day, I saw the list again, and Spreadsheet Project began his song. Anger began to mount in my chest. If Spreadsheet Project were in the room with me at that moment, I would have socked him right in the face. Instead, I shut the light out on him and locked my office door. On the way home, I felt a tugging. “You need to go to the gym,” it said.
“What?!” I thought, “That is the last thing I need. What I need is a blanket, some food, and my recliner.”
Still, there was this urge to go to the gym, so I did. And it was hard too. When I pulled up at home, my husband had two large pizzas from Pizza Pro spread out on the bar. But I did it. I walked right past those pizzas, grabbed my gym bag, and despite my family’s pleading to say home with them, I went to the gym.
The gym was packed, but there was one small elliptical waiting on me in the corner. So, I got on it and closed my eyes. With my eyes still closed, I ran. I ran until I was no longer cold, until sweat rolled down my back and my face was burning hot and red. I ran until I had to put my hair up in a pony tail to keep it from sticking to my neck. I ran until every ounce of frustration, anger, and anxiety seeped through my skin and dripped toward the ground. I only ran about two miles–but believe me, it was enough. (I usually “‘run’ four miles, but only running in five to ten minute intervals.)
When I got off the elliptical, I could breath again. I could focus. My pounding headache had disappeared, and I felt great.
When I got home, I sat down in my recliner and ate pizza.
Spreadsheet Project would not get the last laugh. Not today.