The ‘mental problems’ category


June 28th, 2017

Once, I lived in a sweet, quiet little cottage in the woods.

Back then, I would typically get about 9 to 10 hours of sleep, wake up slowly and without an alarm, spend a few hours in the morning reading online news and drinking a French press, and then ease into work around 11 in the a.m. Sometimes noon. I had a few elderly, quiet neighbors and was usually serenaded by chickadees all day long while I worked. It was like a Disney movie.

Back then, I was just getting my freelance writing and editing business off the ground, and like most freelancers of my ilk, concentration was my big struggle. I complained about it a lot. Anything could mess with my writing mojo — hunger, Comcast issues, an unwanted phone call. I usually kept my ringer off (still do) so I wouldn’t be interrupted, and if I had to talk to someone for work reasons, would feel pretty put out about it.

Let’s talk about now.

Now, I have rambunctious, possibly rabid toddler twins, and I still work at home. I have childcare (aka my amazing mother), but that doesn’t mean I am left alone. They can sniff me out, and in any case, sometimes I have to surface for a snack or a cup of tea. My husband, who works all sorts of different hours as an RN, is also often around, needing things from me. We also have a very prissy elderly dog, who needs to be assisted up and down the stairs a lot.

Friends who listened to me whine for years about concentration issues are incredulous that I ever get anything done, and they should be. It’s basically impossible. What’s my trick?

It’s simple. I have no choice.

For the past few weeks, since we moved to Vermont, this has been my office space:

 freelance writer + editor, Brattleboro Vermont

It’s messy and chaotic. Instead of my normal luxurious stand-up desk, I’m working at a small poetic antique with a rickety chair. There’s shit everywhere, piles upon piles. I’m working in my bedroom, for God’s sake.

Somehow, though, I’ve been getting things done. 

My point is, a human can adjust to basically anything. 


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