The mirage was that I really sucked and got nothing done.
The reality is, I did pretty well, given we spent Monday coming back from Dragoncon and then picked up the pups Tuesday morning (vet was closed Monday or we’d have claimed them then), so less than a full week (we also took them in for grooming Wednesday). I got a half-dozen movies viewed, finished rewriting Fiddler’s Black, sent the story off, tweaked the ending of another story, sent three applications in for various freelance gigs, and got one small assignment, probably around $25. So at least I know I’m not totally incapable of landing work. 🙂
I also finished going over the text of my film book. Now I need to fix a couple of problems—nothing serious though. I didn’t get in the hours I wanted to on fiction—various household problems sucked up my focus today—but otherwise satisfactory. But the mirage that I didn’t get anything done remains. I think that’s because in my head I have this unattainable image of perfection—every single thing not only done, but successful, with Please Write for Us responses from everyone I submit to and confidence I have a steady income stream again. Like I said, I have reserves, but it still gnaws at me. But I shall override the mirage and take pleasure in my work.
I made a couple of adjustments to my schedule. One is to break about every 25 minutes; this gives me slightly more time to do stuff around the house and play with the puppies, plus it keeps me from sitting to the point I feel stiff getting up. I started setting a timer for every 25 minutes, followed by 5 minutes—this worked well, though today I was off-balance enough (household problems as mentioned above) that I kept ignoring the timer or just not setting it.
The other is finding a way to make a clean break in the evening. When I’m sitting with the dogs it’s very easy to feel like work and play are the same—I’m sitting on the couch with the pups, then I’m sitting on the couch with the pups. In my mind, I’ve realized, I don’t really feel I’ve stopped work, which leaves me unreasonably stressed. I tried going up to my room for a break after work, but the dogs weren’t happy with such an abrupt change in routine. We’ll work on it.