In a matter of minutes, my toddler had dumped enough rainbow-colored candy droplets all over my kitchen to put my eagerly crawling 8-month-old into a sugar coma. Challenges like this are a daily occurrence in our household, where curious, and occasionally disobedient, children leave disasters in their wake.
On those days that we have other, theoretically more important things to accomplish, it’s easy to become short-sighted. It’s easy to get angry, and it’s easy to get into a fight. Sometimes the Skittles are going to spill, and your day isn’t going to go according to plan. Whether you have children at home, or whether you have other obstacles popping up regularly, curveballs are an inevitability. While your unique circumstances may not always be the same, the work you do, the writing you do, the effort you put in at home is always contingent on your ability to navigate your specific set of obstacles. You might not have a toddler jumping through your living room like a joyfully multicolored kangaroo, as I do at the present moment, but you may well have your own set of setbacks to contend with soon.
Whether it’s minor, or something more significant in your life, succeeding as a writer, a home-based worker, or a parent, all depends on learning to work with these daily challenges. They aren’t going anywhere, so waiting for the perfect moment, the right circumstances, isn’t going to get you very far.
When we first became parents, I spent years feeling resentful at the nonstop demands. I felt as if I were spinning my wheels. I craved hours of alone time, uninterrupted quiet, to be creative, to work, and to get my messaging out into the world, and it was just not happening. There are still many days when those feelings bubble up, and there are specific types of creative work where I feel perpetually unable to concentrate. The struggle is very real—even if that is a cliche—yet there is a point at which we have to let go of the ideal environment, accept that the candy is going to fall on the floor, and get on with it anyway.
How do you regroup creatively after a minor setback? Share your advice in the comment section!