A mind-numbing rut

The past few weeks have been tough. I wouldn't say it's every day of every week but on most weekdays, I've been finding it hard to get things done. At least that's how it started off.

At first, it was just a random mood swing coming in my way that threw things off balance. Soon, things beyond my control started interfering. I still remember struggling to write a post last week because my PC kept dying on me. Once that was fixed, the blogging software wouldn't cooperate. Once that was fixed, the images wouldn't load. It was like a domino effect. Or rather, a snowball effect.

And somehow, I failed to notice how things got progressively worse with every passing day, both personally and professionally. Personally, because with what I do for a living, and with taking into account the fact that I work with my husband on most of my projects, the toll these things were taking on me began to show up in our relationship as well. In such cases, it sometimes becomes difficult to separate your personal from your professional life. And these tiny irritable factors were constant reminders of other tiny irritable things that we had to tend to but couldn't for whatever reasons.

Coming to the professional side of things, I happen to share my responsibilities with one more person - Meenal. Usually, when one of us is down (and that happens very rarely), the other takes over completely. But over the past week and a half, we saw for the first time what happens when we're both down at the same time. If you haven't guessed already, it's terrible.

We were both putting off fires in our separate avenues but we still had our combined interests to come back to every single day. And when we did, we'd be so exhausted with everything else that was going on (or going wrong), that we'd just bitch and whine the whole time. It was a very new experience for the both of us because we usually don't have the time to indulge in this sort of whining. It was quite reassuring to have each other as punching bags whenever the frustration shot through the roof.

Meenal would randomly call in the middle of the day and start off with screaming and cursing, eventually ending up in tears. I'd call her to discuss a bloody social media post and she'd ask me one question which would trigger a volcanic eruption. The top of my head would swing open and the hot molten core of the earth would pour out. For the next thirty minutes, she'd hear me go on a non-stop rant at the end of which, she wouldn't know what to say to me. On most of these occasions, things were so beyond our control that neither of us could even offer solutions to each other. We just listened. We just became voluntary punching bags. There was nothing more we could do.

And last night, for the first time, we were calm. Not because everything got magically fixed, but because we just didn't have it in us to elicit another reaction.

On Sunday afternoon, we began shooting a nibble for today. It's our usual Sunday routine and we set aside all our troubles to get together and do something we enjoy from our core. It was all going well until Meenal's camera decided to die on her. First of all, editing a video where both parties are at different locations is a bitch. We have to sync both files and make sure our speech and reactions correspond. Plus, figuring out the lighting so that it's not too jarring is another pain in the arse. In an ideal world, I'd be living 5 minutes away from my best friend. But in reality, I live in a different time zone from her.

So when on top of all this (and all the other shit we were both going through), the camera died, we weren't pleased. But we decided that we were not going to let this be a problem and waited for two whole hours to get just the last bit of our video ready. We felt mighty proud of ourselves once we were done because we stuck it out and we did it! That same evening, we interviewed our very first guest for Season 2 of the podcast and were super-excited about how it turned out. It was only at the end of the interview that we found out that the original source of audio from our guest's side had not been recorded after all. But we shoved that issue aside as we had a recording from our side and were confident we could work with it.

At the end of it all, on Sunday evening, Meenal said to me, "Ankita, we've had the worst few weeks and today was no piece of cake either. But the important thing is that despite everything that consistently went wrong, we powered through and survived. We did our part, and we did everything in our capacity to get things moving".

And I agreed wholeheartedly before collapsing onto my bed and passing out.

I genuinely believed that things were beginning to look good yesterday until evening hit and we went through our source files to begin the tedious process of editing our little video. Remember when Meenal's camera died on us? Yeah, it also managed to delete 20 minutes of footage in the process. So, no video for this Tuesday.

When we realised what had happened, we both just said things like, "Well, shit happens" and remained calm for the most part. Mostly out of sheer exhaustion. I feel so drained within that I can't even bring myself to talk about this anymore. All I know is that I have a huge to-do list today, piles of correspondence to get back to, shit tons of editing to do, and a very tired soul.

I guess finally typing this out has made me calmer but I still have to go back and tend to all that leftover crap. It's slightly overwhelming, you know? I've decided that I'm just going to get into machine mode and power through my to-do list meticulously till I'm done but I still have one question to ask. Something that's always bugged me.

Why is it that sometimes, EVERYTHING goes wrong at once?

Is this a thing? Does it happen to everyone? Is there a solution to this? Is there a way to break out of this mind-numbing rut?

Because all I can seem to come up with is ignoring the fact and moving on with my life, as hard as it can be. Any other solutions from your side are most welcome.

I hope at least you are having a better week than me.

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