Frustrations and Expectations

I’m waiting. It’s all quiet. I can hear my heart beat. It’s beating faster and faster. My daughter is at school, my son is at the kindergarten, and my wife is at work. And me, I’m suppose to be working at home.

I’m staring at the screen, the white space that used to be my blog. I have a New York Yankees hat on my head, just in case I’ll end up pulling my hair from its roots. I’m frustrated. I just don’t understand what I’m going to do about my blog.

The technical issues are like small, tiny needles, constantly piercing my skin. And when I try to remove one, another one appears instantly. I have just switched to a new host. All because I was experiencing problems over and over again. But the white blank screen is still here, laughing at me.

I love to write, but my technical skills…

This is bad.

I’m suppose to be writing on my novel, but I can’t focus. I don’t have a single creative thought right now.

I’m eating an orange while typing. I’m sending an email to support at HostGator, and I’m sending an email to support at VaultPress (they have a backup). I’m asking all my friends online for help.

Yikes!

I felt it and I watched it in slow motion as the juice left the orange and landed on my computer and the screen. I should have known that I would get juice all over the place. I’m having a bad hair day. Years ago, I destroyed a MacBook by spilling tea. Now my computer and the screen is all sticky with orange juice.

It’s time to relax.

It’s time to stop trying so hard.

I am shutting down my computer.

I’m listening to Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody. And it makes me think of summer. And my four weeks living in a tent. The sun, the ocean, the birds, and the warm wind, keeping me alive. And the two women standing in front of a yellow tent, discussing. One with a baby in her arms. They’re frustrated. I can hear what they’re saying, even though I’m far away. They’ve stayed in a tent for one day. And that was more than any of them could handle. They baby is crying. The mom is about to cry.

They had called the supervisor at the camping before they decided to come. They asked her if it was a toilet they could use at the camping. She said yes. She didn’t lie. There’s a toilet, but it’s not a toilet I recommend for changing a diper or anything else related to a baby. Most people won’t use the toilet if they had a choice. Now she’s crying. And while watching them, and hearing her sobbing and the loud discussion, I am thinking about how almost peeing in my pants turned into a blessing in disguise.

They had a completely different expectation of what it would be like living in a tent with a baby. They imagined the sun, the ocean, the birds, and the warm wind… and a clean toilet. They never asked for a clean toilet.

This reminds me. I’m suppose to be frustrated right now.

  • Sonia

    This reminds me of days when I have deadlines to meet at work, a blog post calling my name and dealing with a grumpy relative all at the same time. Sometimes having a bad “hair” day seems like more of a “Migraine Monday”. We put so many expectations on ourselves and when things don’t go right we sit there with a blank face wondering which direction to go in. Do I make this person happy first or myself?

    In regards to the tent situation, I camp every summer, and still hate when bugs crawl in my tent or having to use the bathroom when you know the other “species” don’t aim right. Gross! I felt the woman’s agony in having to deal with something out of the norm, but then again, do we really expect too much? I always try to find a happy medium to balance it all out.

    Great post Jens! Sorry for rambling!

  • Julie Walraven

    When I published anything since sometime last week, the connecting circle kept spinning. I didn’t know if save worked or publish or if everything I just did went somewhere unknown. When technology goes wrong, I go crazy. When I saw your tweet about frustration, I had to read this post. I uninstalled Firefox and reinstalled so we will see if that solves my problem.

    Thanks for sharing the tent episode too… I could feel their frustration too. When we set expectations and they are not fulfilled, our world can melt down.

  • Adrienne

    You poor thing!

    That’s happened to me a time or two but all I do is pick up the phone, call my hosting service (BlueHost) and they usually repair the problem on the spot. Only a time or two was there an issue with their server but I’ve been with them for over three years now Jens and they have always helped me on the spot, even when my blog is freaking out. They have disabled all the plug-ins and were immediately able to find the culprit. Dang, I can’t say enough good things about them so once again, I am truly blessed.

    I’m happy to see that you are back online though. Sure hope you got that orange juice off your keyboard. You would have thought you had learned by now. Men!!! I bet your wife says the same thing! :-)

    Have a good week Jens, the worst is over now.

    ~Adrienne

  • Katie Woodard

    You just wrote that long article, so you do have some creative juices running, so just focus and don’t be frustrated, and write your novel. I know you can do it. :)

  • Ruth – The Freelance Writing Blog

    I can totally relate! Tomorrow is a new day :-)

  • http://www.aha-now.com/ Harleena Singh

    Feel bad for what you had to undergo Jens!

    However, I am glad its over- hopefully :)

    We all go through such down times and for me, a work-at-home mom things are always taking a roller coaster ride! One moment the kids want something and have to be sent to school, the food needs to be cooked, the maids or workers are either coming in or going, and so many other smaller things that take time. And to top it up, knowing I need to calm my nerves to sit and write or work- surely IS something.

    But with time, we all do overcome the dark clouds and chalk out a plan where we can proceed further. I am sure once you are through with the hosting problems, things would settle down a great deal.

    Wishing you all the best :)

  • Carolyn

    Hi Jens, I feel your pain. Great job taking lemons and making lemonade! I especially liked the line “The technical issues are like small, tiny needles, constantly piercing my skin. And when I try to remove one, another one appears instantly.” That’s how I feel when something goes wrong with my blog (which hasn’t happened very often). The good news is that nothing is apparent to your readers, so that’s a good thing.

    Your story reminds me of my personal email getting hacked in May. I was very upset, not just because I felt violated but also because I was embarrassed that it happened to me, being a tech blogger. But I wrote about the experience and that post has become the most popular one on my blog (I wish it weren’t, I wish no one ever got hacked and needed to find out what to do).

    Congratulations on channeling your pain and frustration into a moving and inspiring post!

  • Mark

    Sometimes I come to this kind of restlessness. I just don’t know what to do next, what to write about or what to see. I just relax, turn off the computer and take a nap. When I wake up, I am ready to write and feel really energized.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    Hi Sonia,

    I know exactly how you feel, because yesterday was one of the most frustrating days I have had in a very long time. On the other hand, when it comes to camping, I’m a different person. It doesn’t matter what happens, not even bugs and filthy toilets, I enjoy every minute of it :-)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    Hi Julie,

    I’ve had this problem as well, but it’s been a while. The only thing that works for me in a situation when technology is driving me crazy, is to shut down everything and focus on things that has nothing to do with technology. I usually end up going for a long walk (several hours). When I get back, things are either working, or I have a lot more energy to start solving the issue.

  • Raj

    The article does have a good deal of creative touch in it – You could have started with your novel right after finishing this article. Anyway, all of us have our bad days. Its better to stay off work during such days instead of trying too hard…

  • Sonia

    The bugs I can deal with, but the toilet is an issue for some women including myself. Oh man, what a topic that could be! LOL!

  • http://billdorman.me Bill Dorman

    And the difference between most men and women; when the kids were small we would camp and the wife could only stand about one night max. I lived in a pup tent for a month once when I was in the Army; thank goodness I didn’t have to share it.

    Sorry to hear about your difficulties……..

  • Martin

    :)) You can hear your heartbeat, you can hear your heartbeat – just like in Enrique Igleasias’ song. Have you tried exercising when you’re ,,bloked”? It works for me. I’ve read a lot about healthy living and they say sport helps boosting energy and concentration (can you boost concentration? Well, you know what I mean)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    Yes, that would be an interesting topic :) I understand the issue with the toilet. I am experienced by now, so I don’t have a problem with it anymore ;-)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    Hi Adrienne,

    I have heard a lot of good things about BlueHost, it was the same with HostGator. I switched to HostGator because of their awesome service with the VPS. I’m very happy so far, even though I had an issue. It wasn’t their fault and they fixed it. I just suck at the technical stuff :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    Hey Katie,

    Thanks. I’m focused now. I just had to shut down for the rest of the day and do something else. I was frustrated. I just couldn’t figure out what was going on :-)

    I have just re-written the ending of my novel.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    That’s right. I usually just turn my computer off, and walk outside. When I do, I forget everything about what was frustrating. I just enjoy nature :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    Hi Harleena,

    I’m glad that I switched to a host that fixed my problem fast. I continued to write the novel during the evening, so it turned out to be a good day after all :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    I read about your email being hacked, and then, not long after, my gmail got hacked :)

    No wonder why your post was so popular. The posts I enjoy the most are the posts that solves problems I’m having. And that’s why all my Facebook posts are my most popular posts.

    By the way, I’m writing the piece on Fiverr within the next hour.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    I don’t take a nap, but I understand why this works. I usually just go outside and take a long walk. That’s the best thing I can do in order to relax. While walking I probably feel the same as you do when you wake up :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    Thanks a lot Raj. I could have started writing my novel after this, but I just felt an urge to go outside. And I always listen to my body when it comes to work and food :-)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    Hey Bill,

    I remember when my family and I were camping when I was a kid. We camped all summer, it was awesome. I was out playing and swimming all day long. I probably wouldn’t be such a fan of camping if I had been in the army :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens

    Hi Marin,

    I wasn’t thinking about Enrique Iglesias when I wrote this post, but it might sound like it :)

    I have been running while feeling frustrated and that works. It might even work better than walking, because while I’m walking I think of a lot of things, while running I’m too tired to think about anything other than running.

  • John Stephen

    I know exactly how you feel, because yesterday was one of the most frustrating days I have had in a very long time. On the other hand, when it comes to camping, I’m a different person. It doesn’t matter what happens, not even bugs and filthy toilets, thanks for the post.

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hi John,

    I’m sorry about yesterday. I hope today was a lot better. We only get stronger from experiencing things that makes us frustrated. I’m thinking that I learn a lot from everything I experience, so I’m actually thankful for everything.

    I love camping as well :)

  • Stan

    I must say that its pretty hard to concentrate and to work while feeling frustrated and thinking of all your expectations. Right now, I’m experiencing same situation that’s why I’m feeling not doing anything at all. But I need to move and start something in that way, I could also discipline myself.

  • Val Adams

    It’s really hard to work when we’re frustrated, stressed or when we’re not feeling well. Like Martin and Mark said, taking a nap, relax and sports will energize us. It works for me.

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