Ruts

I’m in a rut, but it’s the kind of rut that comes about not from mundane habit but from new stimuli. The last couple weeks have decimated any routine I was on with C and we’re starting to feel the brunt of it. Sometimes I forget what a finely-tuned clock a baby is until a grain of sand is introduced into her workings. B was on Spring Break last week so we went to Charlotte to visit Kendra and Chris at their house. We had a lot of fun and she was able to get all her naps (C, not Kendra. LOL) but all the driving and new surroundings kind of threw her for a loop. A couple days after we got back, my mom and Aunt Pam came to visit us because they were on their Spring Breaks. Again, a lot of fun and great face time. C was in the middle of her stranger danger phase the last time we saw them and now that it’s passed, she enjoyed her time with them. But she was tedious and grumpy a lot of the time too. I couldn’t relax when we all went for brunch on Sunday because I was nervous she’d lose her composure at any moment.

She’s been taking more and more steps lately as well as communicating her needs to us through signs and body language. All these new milestones are jarring for her as well as for me because once again I have to recalibrate the motions of our day. Plus, the added frustration when she can’t express what she wants tends to be intense.

Let me also go on the record as saying that Daylight Saving Time is the biggest load of crap. I really do not get it at all. C is handling the change pretty well but I cannot get used to putting her to bed at night when the sun is shining in her face. It kind of takes away the credence of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

So ruts.

We will be spending another year in our town because B did not find a job elsewhere. We both did an incredible amount of work to apply to many, many jobs for him, but it was all for naught. I am not as upset as I was a few weeks ago when it was evident that he would not hear back from any of the jobs he applied to, but it still stinks. I will stay upbeat for C, though, because she doesn’t need to know that I’m upset about something as inconsequential as geography when she’s enduring growth milestones that really are frustrating. At least I can express myself and walk with ease.

I wrote last summer about starting the freelance journey but it’s no surprise (to me at least) that I am just now getting around to figuring out how to write for money. Hang around me long enough and you’ll notice that whenever I have a big ol’ plan it often takes me years to actually implement it. So yeah, I’ve been trying to figure out where to begin and I often get overwhelmed because there’s so much grunt work to do. B’s job hunt has temporarily soured me on putting a tremendous amount of work and time into a project that will likely reap no benefits in the foreseeable future. I’m just being honest here. I’d like to have one small sure thing just to break up the monotony. I know full well that the work I put in won’t actually be for nothing, because I’m also a firm believer that there are no mistakes in the trajectory of life. All those rejections and false leads make you who you are and can be a boon if you chose to learn from them.

I guess I’m just tired of learning right now.

I feel like my blog is suffering too. Last night I tried writing a post I had had brewing in my mind for awhile. The kind of post that is structured and has a point beyond catharsis. Unlike this one, for instance. But it just wasn’t coming. I don’t know who I was trying to channel when I wrote it because the words I wrote didn’t sound like me or anyone else for that matter. Hrumph. I also haven’t been reading as much which I apologize for if I’ve been neglecting your blog. Lately it just seems like a lot of work. Again, just honesty. And believe me, it’s really not you, it’s me.

So hang in there with me. This post seems to be over now because C is waking from her nap twenty minutes early.

Duty calls.

And likely, doodie too. Jokes.

 

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62 comments

  1. Kids are crazy. The smallest thing will throw them off – and the routine is the key. I hear the rut – I’m feeling it too. I think part of it is knowing (at least for me) that despite the two feet of snow in my front yard, the weather IS getting warmer, and spring really IS on its way. Ready for warmer weather and normal days.
    You’ll get there – you’ll get where you want to be. It takes time. And ruts.

    1. Kids are so sensitive! In all honesty, I am very sensitive too but I like to pretend that I’m not. Maybe that’s a bad rut I need to get out of too? Thanks, Kristin!

  2. This is EXACTLY the place I was in 2 weeks ago. Well, I don’t have a kid or a husband. But you get the point.

    Everyone seems to want interns. Nobody wants to pay anyone for anything. Right now I’m focusing on throwing up as many short stories as I can onto Amazon, hoping Ashton Kutcher happens to read it and make it into a movie. Random people actually do buy the stuff and although it’s barely any money it’s still rewarding to know there’s someone out there reading your stuff because they paid for it.

    Try spending the day somewhere you normally wouldn’t. Take two days if you have to. It helped me a ton to place myself in a new environment. I got a ton of ideas and as long as I have ideas I see a future. Also make short term and long term goals. But you probably heard that one from a guidance counselor before.

    1. Maybe even if Ashton Kutcher doesn’t find you, one of he’s knock-offs will ;D

  3. twindaddy · · Reply

    Sorry, Em. Ruts happen from time to time. You’ll be back to yourself soon and forget this even happened.

    1. That is what I’m hoping! I think you’re right. Thinking of you too, TD.

      1. twindaddy · · Reply

        Thanks.

  4. Le Clown · · Reply

    Emily,
    Don’t write, if you have nothing to say. Really. I brought down myself to two posts a week this year, and I am considering publishing only one post a week. Lately, I have been having a blast writing because I am doing it less. I am working on a post for this coming Friday, and I have been at it each day, writing, rewriting, editing, having fun with it. It’s so much more inspiring when you are having a blast doing it, then feeling as if you’re forced to do so, because of a self-imposed schedule…
    Eric

    1. The thing is, I do have things to say. It’s just finding the time where I can get in the zone and write is harder nowadays because I can’t just park C on my belly and type while she’s sleeping like I used to do when she was teeny tiny. Self-imposed schedules are definitely not for me as she gets bigger. I can’t wait for when B gets summer vacation and I can spend a bit more time organizing myself and getting myself in gear. Thanks, Eric,

  5. Ruts. They happen. I feel like I’m in one, too. Don’t have any advice for getting out other than to hang on, it’ll blow over eventually. And don’t worry about us. We’ll be waiting.

    1. Thank you! I think that is actually very good advice! These things tend to have a way of working themselves out.

  6. I am completely where you are. I have started three posts that went nowhere. I have been publishing stupid stuff since I got Freshly Pressed for my post on mania. Notice how I got that in there? You were waiting for it, I bet. Instead, I have been wiping up dust from the new wood flooring project on the first floor. Everything from the first floor is now in the garage or the upstairs. My trashed house is even more trashed.

    Oh! And the freelance thing!!! It took me a year, yes, a year, to get my website running. I finally caved and hired someone. now I have to market the hell out of myself before my husband dies and I have to support the family. You can check out my website at janicelindegard.com. (Yeah, I self-promoted twice. I’m a douche.) Maybe we can form a little “I WILL make money writing” club.

    1. You can self-promote all you like here on my ol’ blog ;D You’ve been with me since I was in my blogging infancy so I know that you’re not a spammer AND that your work is actually worth promoting! I know what you mean about the post-FP slump. I feel like the last substantial post I wrote was nearly two months ago when I wrote about troll-y comments.

  7. Don’t feel to bad about all your hard work looking for a new job for B. I don’t care if the DOW is up at it’s highest ever, people STILL aren’t hiring. My last project was just on the cover of a national magazine and I still haven’t gotten a single call back in over a year of looking. I don’t mean to bring you down, just understand you guys are far from alone! Rejoice in all of C’s great strides, and give yourself a well deserved break!

    1. Y’know, it is kind of encouraging that we’re not the only people who are going through an employment slump right now. Misery loves company and all ;) C is for sure a bright spot in our lives right now and we are incredibly blessed to have her!

  8. I’m in a rut too. Time of year? Who knows. I partly agree with Le Clown, don’t write if you don’t have something to say. Then again…sometimes making the effort can get me past the doldrums. When in doubt, have a gin & tonic.

    1. That’s actually a really good idea. For some reason we always hit up the liquor store right after we go to get our taxes prepared, so since we are meeting with the accountant tomorrow we’ll go shopping for supplies afterward.

  9. haha! Doodie! Even when you’re in a rut you write like Rembrandt paints – so just shut it. :)
    I’m sorry about the whole job thing – that’s so crappy and undeserved. I feel like you do – completely powerless in my own life at this very moment. I’m going through the motions but someone/ something else is in control. It sucks.
    Just be kind to yourself, Em. No pressure. No expectations. Just go with the flow – your own rhythm and energy. If you don’t feel like blogging or reading, then don’t. It’s enough having Cee’s energy de-railing you all the time. You’re loved by all, Emily. Use this time to find balance and re-center yourself. It’s all good and it will turn out as it should. I’m trying to exercise a little faith, myself. These are difficult times for so many people.
    I’m thinking of you. xoxo

    1. These really are difficult times, aren’t they?! The good thing is that we are all in it together. I feel like our little blogging fam is made up of a lot of kindred spirits. We can all be honest with each other with a depth that cannot be duplicated with people we may know from real life. It’s extremely reassuring that you understand what I’m going through. And your kind words….well, those are my favorite too. xoxox

  10. Emily,
    Even though you may feel like you are in a rut you still write rut-less. Maybe I am just drawn to how people capture and re-create their lives. :)
    Kid schedules are a messy pickle part of life. Remember that all these milestones and changes Wee C is going through also means she is assimilating so much more — which also means more everything, as I’m sure you are finding.
    Hang in there: the routine will return.

    1. Thanks, Tania! That is really sweet of you to say. C amazes me each day with all that she is figuring out. She just got the hang of pointing so now she is so pleased with herself when she can indicate exactly what she wants or doesn’t understand. It boggles my mind that exactly a year ago she was still in my belly!

  11. Aw, breathe lady. It’ll get better. I love how you put that – “there are no mistakes in the trajectory of life” – beautiful words! I’m stuck, too. For me, outside is at that can’t-decide-whether-to-be-winter-or-spring bit, and my goodness I’m tired of winter! I told my Doodle as I was reading this that there were no pictures of “Baby C” on here today, he got so sad, “No A-B-C?”

    1. Awww! That is so sweet I almost can’t stand it! I think I can rustle up a picture of ABC for Doodle, though! Here is one of her offering mushrooms to Doodle :D

      http://wp.me/a1BUh4-Yn

  12. I never knew that Daylight Savings was such a big deal until my friends with babies made me aware of messed up sleep schedules. That seems tough. Bless you and Miss C for trying to overcome new obstacles.

    I’ve been in a rut since last year. This time last year I was like, “Okay I think I’ve had my blogging fill now!” I used to be subscribed to a million people and now I’m only subbed to 5. Normal. It’s just too overwhelming, ya know? And the pressure to think up great posts all the time is just added stress that no one needs!

    1. DST was ok for us when it was “fall back” time, because then all we had to do was try to keep her up an extra hour. But this “spring forward” is just brutal. I want to move to Arizona!

      I am subscribed to WAY too many blogs. I need to really go through my filter and clean it out. I play really fast and loose with the subscribe button!

  13. Daylight savings is messing with my daughter as well. She simply won’t go to bed at night.

    1. I feel for you. At least we can just stick C in the crib and she can’t escape.

      1. I miss that option. Instead, we get her standing at the top of the steps shouting, “Tuck me in again!” “We already tucked you in twice.” “TUCK ME IN!!!”

  14. I appreciate your honesty. That’s worthy of writing about for sure. Ruts usually mean something is brewing inside me. Or maybe it’s just gas. Every time I think my rut can’t get any worse, life throws something at me. I want the normal mundane only to realize that the normal is my crazy and the mundane is my exception.

    1. I love that! Crazy is exhausting but it is for sure much more interesting.

  15. I am so sorry. All of that just seems pretty heavy to bear at the same time. But thank you for being real about how things are, because that’s what life is really all about. I have no doubt that you will find your way, but I hope that in the meantime you will be extra kind to yourself. Love you.

    1. You are so sweet! Thank you! We need to Skype soon. Hopefully C will walk for you ;D

  16. Honesty is the best policy. And you’re fab. Just sayin.

    1. I <3 you, LLM! You're pretty fab yourself.

      1. And so modest, wouldn’t you say? Doesn’t that word spring to mind when you think of me? Did anything arrive in the post for you, btw?

        1. Not yet, but I will keep my eyes peeled. The postal service in our area is not the best. And yes, that word DOES spring to mind, as a matter of fact.

  17. Daylight savings can go right to hell.
    Sorry for your current jobby frustrations.

    1. I didn’t know you guys had DST in Canada. We have finally found the one flaw in you country.

      1. Well, Saskatchewan is exempt…for real. I had a friend from there in university, and when we told her about it, she thought we were playing an elaborate prank on her. She’s fucking adorable.

  18. Sorry about the job, or lack thereof. Must be so frustrating and energy-draining. And I get what you mean about being tired of learning. I love to learn new things, but sometimes, when everything you do requires a steep learning curve, it can be overwhelming. I suppose that’s our brain’s way of telling us to take it easy on ourselves for a while.

    1. I know, right?! I love learning too, but I have to be EXTREMELY motivated to get something started to actually devote the time and energy to it. I have the attention span of a gnat sometimes.

  19. I am just glad I have been stocking away posts throughout the pregnancy. I havent written in two months. All my posts are ones I wrote last year. My brain is empty.

    1. New babies have a way of emptying one’s brain, that’s for sure.

  20. Emily, I don’t know what you mean about not being able to write a post. This one is wonderful. You said: “I know full well that the work I put in won’t actually be for nothing, because I’m also a firm believer that there are no mistakes in the trajectory of life. All those rejections and false leads make you who you are and can be a boon if you chose to learn from them.”

    Who says things like that? Great writers! People who get it. So be gentle with yourself. We all get in ruts and then we get out of them when it’s time.

    I’m up further on the East Coast so I am so glad about the stupid time change thing (why can’t they just leave it one way or the other) I could weep. There is a time here that it’s dark almost at 4:30 and I’m a light kind of person. Spring’s here and so are all good things — coming your way.

    Be well and rest your brain. Although if you choose to keep posting, we’ll keep reading. :)

    1. Wow! Dark at 4:30? That is insane! I think the earliest it got dark here was like 5:15, which is doable. 4:30 is not! I am so excited for spring, though. It is such good timing that it’s finally warming up right when C is able to go to the playground and actually try out some of the equipment!

      I will for sure keep posting, but I don’t think I’ll stress too much about aiming for a specific time and day to put up new stuff. I want this to remain fun and relaxing for me.

      Thank you for your sweet words, Brig, and enjoy that sunshine!

  21. I hate being in a rut – and it sounds like things around you are changing yet remaining the same. If it’s too much to write and/or read – go with that. We’ll miss you but you’ll be back when it’s fun. Remember you keep telling me Waiting – it’s not the hardest part. Be well – I am sorry that B didn’t get any interviews – but things will move as the should -

    1. Changing yet remaining the same….that’s an EXCELLENT way of putting it, Denise! Thank you for your encouragement. I will for sure still be around. I am way too much a creature of habit to retreat for too long. Plus, blogging is such a rewarding pastime!

  22. Emily, I think a lot of good writing is ruminating. I also think that you’re a very good writer, but your priority is an eleven month old who needs you 24/7. It’s amazing that you can find the time to write as much as you do. Everything is temporary including your rut. It seems to me that anything worthwhile doesn’t happen easily. You’ll figure out how to get to where you want to go. Don’t lose faith in yourself.

    1. What you say is so true. My mom kept telling me when C was a newborn that things would start getting harder with her, and me in all my wisdom thought, “Nah, I TOTALLY got this.” It’s like the lights just came on in her noggin and all of a sudden she needed me a lot more. Her days are a lot more rewarding now, and even though I don’t think I would ever step away from blogging and writing entirely, I have a hard time focusing on my words when she’s awake and alert. We will both forge a new routine as we get bigger. Thanks, Lame ;D

  23. Ruts happen and balancing blogging with family life can be hard. It’s nice to know the sleep thing can get even harder. Blogging should never be a chore and as much as people say post daily I think less frequent, but more poignant posts can be even more effective and all the biggest bloggers seem to follow this pattern anyways. I’ve honestly been thinking about changing my website from daily to weekly for that very reason.

    1. The sleep thing can be full of pitfalls, but as someone who was EXACTLY where you are now only a year ago, let me assure you that you are in the middle of the hardest part of the whole sleep thing. It gets SO MUCH easier and believe it or not, you will sleep again. DST is like 6385385% easier than the sleepless nights of the first three months. Hang in there and this time next year you will be saying the same thing to a new parent blogger. ;D

  24. It’s looking like spring will be a bit late this year.
    I’m chalking up all the collective miasma to that.
    Hope everything resets over the summer, and you and Brian are able to find your dreamjobs.
    And until then, I look foward to seeing you whenever you turn up.

    1. Oh, and think of all the great stories you’ll have after a summer with a mobile C!

    2. Thanks, Guap! I am totally looking forward to the summer! I really hope the blogger meetup ends up happening in NYC because I need a break and C needs to experience her first ride on a train.

      One question, though: who’s Brian? ;D

      1. Gah! That was supposed to be B.
        i ws replying to an email from someone named Brian just before.

        1. Hehe no worries.

  25. I feel in a blogging rut too. They do pass…just take a break if you need to. Sorry to hear about lack of job and move – maybe you could at least move house even if you are stuck in the same place.

    Change is in the air though – spring is coming, C is turning one…

  26. Hang in there Em. I’m just coming out of my rut–I really think they’ve been going around. Winter and time change and crap. Spring and its symbolism of rebirth and new growth is right around the corner. Just take care of you and the family. ((Hugs!))

  27. Agreed on the trajectory issue! Give yourself a rest, dear friend.

  28. I want to say something more personal and less cliche than “hang in there”…..so I hope you know what I mean.
    I can totally identify with the blog part. Rarely can I force myself to write when I’m not feelin it….

  29. Good luck, Emily!

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