Everything around me is breaking or broken, in need of repair or in the middle of being repaired.
My downstairs half-bathroom is a shambles. I had to tear out the shower & the drywall after a water leak. I've installed the concreteboard and most of the new tiles. They all need to be grouted before I can reinstall the frame and walls of the shower proper. This is exacting, tiring work for which I am trained only by dint of my own self-guided experience. When it's fixed, will it look OK? Will it stay fixed? How much confidence do I have in my own skill as a mason/tilesetter?
A computer has been disassembled for weeks as I alternate working on the bathroom with diagnosing and trying to fix it. Software fixes have been to no avail. I went so far as to desolder some suspect capacitors off the motherboard and replace them. No good. Next stop is... what? Junk? Replace it? I bought the thing for a reason, and I can't afford to just buy new computers whenever they break.
The lock switch on my driver's side car door is screwed up. Sometimes it locks & unlocks the other doors, sometimes not. A minor thing, perhaps, but it would cost more to fix than I have available. I can't fix it myself and I can't pay to have someone else fix it. It's just easier to accommodate the brokenness.
My novel WIP is the same WIP I've been WIPing for a year. Progress is so slow, I find myself re-editing things I've already edited before I edit the parts I've only edited in the markup copy. Do I want this to be hard-hitting and noir? Or thoughtful and introspective? It all depends on how I was feeling when I did the edits of this chapter or that. And does any of it sound like it's written in my "voice", whatever the hell that is? Or is it all just a sloppy, hopeless mess?
In the last year, I also put together an anthology of flash fiction. It took time away from the WIP, but it was educational with respect to publishing. Well and good, yes? I suppose, but I'm guessing that it has sold about as many copies as it ever will. I don't know what I was expecting, but I'm going to have to regard it as a teaching tool, an exercise that will pave the way for other things rather than as an accomplishment in and of itself.
My right elbow has been killing me ever since I strained it somehow, probably in shifting a quarter-ton of concrete board a few weeks ago. The tile installation has prevented it from healing, so I'm in constant, nagging pain from it. Also, a week ago, as I was taking a seat out of my minivan, it shifted and drove one of the sharp edges of the frame into the back of my right knee. A giant blue-purple bruise has been spreading around the puncture wound. A few days ago, I also sliced open my right thumb on the edge of the notched-tooth trowel when I was cleaning the mortar off it. All I need is a stroke on the right side of my brain and I'll have the entire right side of my body in a fine fettle.
There are other things I could talk about, other examples of brokenness, half-assedness and general shambles I could dwell on. Suffice to say that I am tired. I am very, very tired, and I have far too many things to do. What I accomplish and what I don't are all garlands on my brow and millstones round my neck, each and every one of them of my own creation.
One can be weighted down by successes, half-successes and successes-in-the-making as much by failures.
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