Demotivated

I am admittedly having something of a hard time at work.  After a truly energizing February in which I was moving and shaking and things were coming together, a combination of my injury and a long delay in another pet project have me just sitting around waiting for other things to happen.

When this sort of thing happens, I tend to fall into a heavy lull.  I have a handful of other things to do concerning a professional conference that I’m attending next month, I just can’t make myself do them.  I also really needed to explain to a few dozen people around the university that one of my major projects had to be postponed because of my injury (requires some manual labor that’s just not smart right now), and I hate hate HATE doing it – have known I had to do it since the accident – but it somehow reeks of “admitting weakness” or something similar in my subconscious and I had to just finally throw up my hands and force myself to do it.

Nobody in my office is expecting me to do things that I’m not – quite the opposite, they’ve gone out of their way to say “Hey, you shouldn’t do that right now…and not only that, but we recognize that you’ve always done the disproportionate share of the dirty work anyway, so let us pitch in for a while.”  That’s admirable and exactly what I would have done in their place, but it still leaves me feeling like a useless git for not being able to do a) the things I’ve always done, b) the things they’ve always depended on me to do, rightly/consciously or otherwise, c) the things I want to do.  There are big things that need to be done, and I can’t do them, so I end up treading water.

I felt similar a few years back when I sprained my wrists.  It is oddly emasculating to be in a position of forced helplessness, particularly when surrounded by women like I am in my office.  That should not be the case, of course, but I’m not so stupid or deluded as to deny that I feel that way.  Nothing to do about it but rally, find other things to do, and soldier on.  But there are days like today (and yesterday) when I just sit around feeling totally listless, being frustrated at myself for it, but being unable to adequately kick my own ass out of it (and being frustrated at myself for that, too).

Long way of saying “Blah, I’m frustrated by circumstances and eagerly await them changing but appear incapable of seizing the initiative and changing them myself.”

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5 Responses

  1. I know how you feel. You get so used to doing things and then when you can’t, it drives you absolutely bonkers. Perhaps different for a guy, but I do know how you feel.

    I’ve read that culturally men in our society define themselves as what they DO more than women do – which is why unemployment can be weirdly emasculating for men (and was even more so during the Depression when gender roles were more strictly defined). I don’t buy it 100%, but I do buy that.

  2. Dude. You hurt yourself. That has nothing to do with admitting weakness. It just is. The human body takes time to heal.

    I know that probably won’t help, but take it from someone who rushed her body into FOUR injuries in two years: let it go and let them assist you.

    Part of my self-enforced idleness is knowledge of that. I did a lot of stupid things when I sprained my wrists that probably made my recovery a lot longer than it had to be. I know I pushed myself too hard and too fast to avoid exactly the sort of feeling I’m swimming in right now.

    It’s just sometimes hard for me, and I’d bet for many men, to look at a choice between frustration and/or emotional pain on the one hand, and physical pain on the other, and NOT choose physical pain. Even when common sense would indicate the other choice.

  3. I second Crisitunity: thumbs are good, yours is injured, and overdoing it will make things bad.

    Just smile, take a mental note, and then do more shit later when you’re unbroken. Believe me, I get how suck it is not to be able to do what you think you should do; but believe me MORE that it’s worse if you aggravate your injury, or heavens forbid cause permanent damage, because you overdid it now.

    Man up and do less.

    I am. I catch myself thinking things like, “Really, I could probably play a song or two on Rock Band…what’s the harm?” And even though I really sincerely think I could pull it off and not set myself back, I’m forcing myself not to.

    It just fucking sucks, more so with my “stuff I SHOULD be doing” than with the Rock Band-ish “stuff I WANT to do.” I feel like whining about it. And if anything, it’s feeling like whining about it that really makes me want to bitchslap myself.

  4. I agree that you shouldn’t feel this way, but I am secretly glad that you do. It’s nice to hear that you are a man. You want to take care of things and get them done. So many men aren’t that way anymore. They are lazy and want other people to do for them. But it is important you let them know that the big project is postponed. That talk probably can’t wait much longer.

    It shouldn’t have waited this long, really. But I wanted first to go see the doc, get my cast off, and see where we were going from there to get an idea on the time frame. When I did that last week, I knew it would be a significant delay, and I should have done the email then. I’ve just been avoiding it like a grade A wuss for a week. But I got it done yesterday, so it’s done.

    For what it’s worth, I also knew yesterday morning that I needed to write this post. And it took me until the end of the day to even do THAT. That’s how avoidant I was about the whole thing. But I finally made myself DO the mass-email before I posted, at least. I figured that would make me break the ice. I think it sort of worked.

  5. My lack of motivation at work is usually a mental thing, not a physical thing. Yeah, I did do some pretty awesome work in Feb. But in March? So not feelin’ it. At all. I am bored with my work again.

    Oh, I’m not saying it can’t be mental with me. In this particular case, it’s a combination of the two.

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