State of the Art: Getting Derailed

I’ve written here and on Ko-fi about how I like my routines and how they feed into my ability to make art and get a lot done. Usually, those routines are a good buffer between myself and chaos. But sometimes things happen and they completely derail my routines and it always takes a bit to get back to them.

A few weeks ago now, my debit card info was skimmed, likely at the gas pump, and the skimmer/thief siphoned almost everything out of my account. I woke up to a fraud alert as the skimmer attempted to completely drain my account. They almost got it all. The bank was good about labeling everything but one charge fraud and reversing all charges. I take it back they flagged that charge fraud as well, but the app used to pull the money out of the account didn’t reverse the charges. I’m getting into the weeds on this story, the end result was that my mortgage payment was gone, and I had to spend the next week and a half on the phone every morning with the bank. I attempted to work with the app, they shut me down.

If you want to start your day off wrong, call the bank about fraudulent charges on your card.

A few other things happened, the details don’t matter but it landed on my lap to fix them. The end result of them all was more time spent on the phone before and after work, and sending numerous emails to the wide variety of people who needed to fix this stuff.

It was and remains a lot. And it all completely threw off my routines.

My routines aren’t set in stone, though I do try to keep to them. My weekdays all start and end roughly the same. My morning routine is the most important and it was the most impacted by the calls and emails. When I get out of work the offices for all of the places I had to contact were closed.

Why are my routines so important? they set up my day and help me clear my mind of useless stuff. It allows me to be creative.

I find that when my routines are in disorder my mind is too, and creative blocks are more likely to settle in and take hold.

These last 3 weeks have not been fun, but also I have to realize that I only have so many hours in a day. I can’t shove in just one more thing, no matter how much I would like to do so. No that doesn’t work at all. The more I beat myself up for the disarray the long the disarray sticks around and fouls things up.

It’s a whole cycle of blame and disarray. By being gentle with myself- labeling the disarray and acknowledging the difficulty and letting myself be okay helps to break the cycle.

It’s hard to beat yourself up over something if you can say to yourself, “Hey, it’s okay. A lot of people go through this. It’s going to be okay in the end. How about today I just do one thing to get back on track, even if it’s just making a pour over and writing part of a blog post.”* That lets me get started on making changes, just small ones and feeling good about it.

*Most of my blog posts are written in one sitting a day or two before they hit the blog. This lets me edit as needed, though as many of you have noticed, I don’t often. This post has take 2 day and 2 sittings to write. There are 2 more posts that I’ve discarded because they were no good.