No, I’m not talking about baseball. I’m talking about mental ones.
I set my new 60×60 goals and they’re pretty ambitious. It’s helped me get some momentum going, feeling a bit better about things, a bit of hope and optimism, which is not my natural state.
And we hit it out of the park as a family with our summer trip. It helped my goals, but more importantly, it was a chance to regroup and clear the cobwebs. Which lasted about a week after I was back, and then I got a flu bug or something. Followed a week later by actual COVID for the first time. Followed by some holidays, and I was essentially off work for seven weeks.
That should have been a huge loss of momentum, and it was definitely a step or two back. But this week? I was hitting my stride. I’ve been setting some of my new goals aside to focus on an old one — my photo gallery. I have a bunch of old photos pre-2005, and they were NOT well-organized. I had multiple folders to merge, lots of things to look at manually…in one set of folders, I ended up with six different copies of the same photos. Annnnd they were all different sizes. Plus at least two different formats. I couldn’t just let the software figure it out, I pretty much had to go through each batch and weed them. 2004 is a nightmare. I had about 4500 photos in the mix when I started, and I suspect that will be down to less than 1500 just in SORTING, not even weeding good from bad.
Yet I’m bopping along. I’ve cleared a folder from 1987, 2 from 2002, 4 from 2003, a whole whack (17) from our trip, a few Monday Memory posts, and some wrap-up ones, and now I’m chugging through 2004. I felt some energy feedback happening.
Here comes the curve ball
I was so excited about a few files moving along that I decided to really double-down on progress. I have four big things that need to be put together.
- An exercise bike that got dismantled when we moved way back in the dark ages and needs to be reassembled;
- A work-out bench I bought earlier this year and have not yet assembled;
- A utility cart I bought more than a year ago to haul my astro gear from the garage to the backyard; and,
- Some wheels to go on our trampoline to let us move it when needed.
I’m not that handy with this stuff; something often goes wrong and I get frustrated easily. The bench and utility cart are doable, Andrea and Jacob would help if I asked, but the bike and wheels are ones that I would rather someone else did. So, I booked a guy that I’ve used before in TaskRabbit, and he’s coming on Wednesday.
I started to organize, putting my thinking cap on to decide what I needed. That’s a lot to things for him to do in a day, and for me to get ready, but no problem, I have the boxes for the wheels, good. I have the box for the workbench. Great. The utility cart is in the garage and fairly large, and I’m fine if he wants to assemble it in the garage or in the living room. So, I just need to move the exercise bike to the main part of the basement. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Okay, well, sure, there’s other stuff in the way that I haven’t finished sorting from our big e-push a while ago. I can move that over. Go to get the bike, annnnnd one of the side mounts is broken off. Maybe it will go back on easily, maybe it won’t. Sigh.
Okay, where’s the seat? Umm…search around some more, okay, found it. Three big pieces. Yep. Seems about right. That leaves a power cord for the bike AND all the little parts with the manual that I have in a plastic bag. I knew the power cord was NOT with the little parts+manual, but I found it on a shelf. But the bag wasn’t with it. I was sure it was on a table that I’ve been using for sorting things, with the tools. I was sure that’s where I last had it. I’ve moved that little bag about 10-12 times in the last year as I’ve moved things around, always going, “Here, I’ll put that RIGHT THERE!” where it wouldn’t get knocked over or buried. What did I do with it?
Turns out, I have NO FUCKING CLUE. I have searched every nook and cranny of the basement. At one point, it was upstairs in our alcove, and I went to look to see if maybe it was still there. I was 95% sure it wasn’t, but it wasn’t anywhere else I had looked. Andrea helped too. Whole basement end to end. I know it’s a ziploc bag with about three large knobs and a bunch of bolts and screws. I *think* the manual is in it too, but it was a small bag, maybe the manual wouldn’t fit. Can I find either the manual or the bag? Nope.
And there went the mental game. It’s not the largest issue in the world, but I have tried to keep that bag safe and handy for almost a year. I knew I needed it, I knew I didn’t have a perfect spot for it, but I was keeping it close and obvious, no chance of burying it. Until, apparently, I did.
Now, looking for it was so much fun that I found three other things that I had misplaced. One was a MEC shoulder bag that turned out to be on a chair in the back of the basement, turned the other way and with a box sitting on top of it, so I couldn’t see it. I had given up on it. I figured I must have left it with TTE computers when I ditched an old laptop some time ago. I beat myself up about it, but it was well-used, I’d gotten my money’s worth, so buying a new one wouldn’t kill me mentally. I also located two e-devices that I had also given up for dead. I knew where they originally WERE, in fact, not too far from where the parts had originally been, alas, but I hadn’t seen them in months. They’re highly commodified i.e., easily stolen and sold off or used, so I wouldn’t have been surprised if one of our temporary cleaners or other help had, umm, helped themselves to it. I was annoyed, but I would have no idea who would have done it, and I didn’t really want to dwell on it. I’ve had stuff stolen from our car in the driveway, so I try not to dwell. But they hadn’t been stolen, as I thought in my darker moments, just lost. By me, the idiot who can’t get his shit together.
I am slagging myself pretty hard for this set of parts. There is no excuse for not being able to lay my hands on it. It was important, I needed to have them available, I knew it. And yet with the guy arriving tomorrow, I have no such parts to give him. Greaaaaaaaaaaat. That was the main reason I had him coming. So he could do the exercise bike for Andrea since I’ve not done it for ten years now. I am really pissed at myself.
Whatever momentum I had is gone. I’m starting over again tomorrow. Well, maybe the day after. Tomorrow, I need him to do the other stuff so I don’t have time to reset yet. I was hoping to use tomorrow’s bounce to give me the energy to focus on the switch from SunLife to Canada Life and the shit storm that is benefits processing by them. It’s a mess. Plus some other stuff I need to do and just haven’t made the time. But it’s time I did, and tomorrow night I was hoping to have the bounce.
I guess not.
I’ve built up my resiliency, I had some momentum, and I do okay with things I can see coming…but when the curve ball comes out of nowhere, and I’ve planned around it in a way that it shouldn’t be a curve, when they come in screaming at me at 90 mph, my brain goes into a downward spiral and squirrel mode.
I feel like an idiot. Like, really? I have all these goals that I think I can do, yet I can’t even keep track of a fucking bag of parts? Really?
Sigh. Tune in next week when I scrape my ego off the floor.
Update from Wednesday morning. I kept telling myself that I had seen them last near the tools. In fact, because they were parts, putting them with the tools was the safest place. So I asked myself as freshly as I could, if I had them in my hand today, where would I put them? In with the tools. It’s a small game I play with myself sometimes. If I can’t remember what I did, I often focus on what I WOULD do if I did it again today. Because my brain is relatively consistent in it’s linear thought processes. For logistics, it will turn out the same way today as last year or even sometimes 5-10 years before. I’ll do it the same way again, which means if I figure it out today, I have a better chance of figuring it out for the last time too. But I checked the box of tools in the basement. As did Andrea. As did I, again. They’re not there. I have other tools in the garage, but I knew I wouldn’t move the parts to the garage because that would increase the likelihood of them getting mixed with a bunch of other stuff that could get tossed. I wouldn’t put the parts loose in the garage. I knew that. But last night, on a flyer, I had looked around the shelves in the garage, not aggressively, more confirming, just in case…nope, no small bag of parts sticking out with a manual.
On the way back from dropping Jacob at band this morning, I decided that I had looked EVERYWERE else that was possible, or so I was convincing myself, I might as well do another look in the garage around the other tools but more aggressively. If they weren’t with the tools downstairs, but my brain said “with the tools”, I might as well look at other tools. I found a bag almost immediately, but not the right one. Well, that was encouraging. Go through three more piles, clearly not there. Wander over to the other shelf, not with the screwdrivers. But there was my two matching tool bags. One of which I had had **downstairs** earlier with the other tools but it was taking up too much space so I moved it to the garage. Open the bag, move all the tools loose on top, and bam! There’s the bag. Right with the tools like I originally thought. Just not with the downstairs tools. I must have dumped tools into the bag without realizing the parts were in the bag where I could **cough cough** find them easily.
So, yay. I have the damn parts for this morning. And I’ve managed to print the original assembly instructions off the internet. And I remember now why I had NO interest in trying to reassemble this — the pictures are GARBAGE with 40 parts being assembled per picture. Fortunately, the guy who is coming, Sam, is very good with this stuff and should have no trouble. The stuff I have for him to do is probably a 2 on a scale of 5 for difficulty for someone like him, and he did my big Bowflex last year, which is more like a 4 for anybody’s scale without a problem.
That doesn’t mean my mental momentum didn’t take a hit, but at least I don’t feel like a complete idiot anymore. My brain worked, I just cleaned up a little too early from that last project and didn’t notice that the parts went out with the other tools, rather than staying with the ones in the basement.