In my years as a trial lawyer in a perpetually underfunded and understaffed government agency, I’ve had some experience with this. I call it “fuck-it nirvana”: that blessed zone where your concern about your workload just melts away. Your shoulders sink slowly down in relief, your brow uncreases, you find yourself humming or smiling as you work, joking with co-workers. While chaos swirls about, you are filled with a sense of calm and wellbeing.
Fuck-it nirvana never comes easy. Fuck-it nirvana cannot be achieved without considerable suffering. And you can’t force yourself to get there; you have to reach (and pass) your breaking point. The stress will be driving you up the wall––stomach churning, jaw clenched, head pounding, and let’s not even talk about the intestines––and you beg for relief, fantasize about fuck-it nirvana. “Why isn’t it here?,” you ask yourself desperately, shrugging your shoulders to try to shake it off, breathing deeply to try to find your inner calm. But it is all for naught. Fuck-it nirvana arrives when it wants to, and nothing will bring that blessed relief prematurely. You may think you’re at the breaking point, that surely it is just around the corner. But no, fuck-it nirvana says you’re not ready yet.
This morning I achieved fuck-it nirvana. And Holy Christ, did it feel good.
This week has sucked. Sucked hard. I mean, let’s face it, it’s sucked ass. Things on my appeal are not going well; things on my brief are going worse. And there was a day in the middle of this week where there was a good chance the court was going to continue my oral argument, almost a stay of execution, but then they didn’t do it. And that glimmer of hope made it so much worse.
In the meantime, on Saturday I went to my podiatrist’s office to pick up my $500 custom-orthotic sandals, which were finally done, only to discover that the lab ordered the wrong color. I wanted black—the lab seemed to think I wanted “metal.” Puh-lease. They were hideous. And well, for $500, I needed black.
Luckily, the footbed is removable, so we pulled out the orthotic insert and had the lab rush the right color sandals to the office. So on Wednesday night J picked them up for me. That night I got my first look at the finished product, and I was seriously underimpressed. Certainly not $500 impressed. Not even $50 impressed. For starters, the orthotic footbed wasn’t cut to match the length and shape of the shoe—about ¼ inch of gap was at the end. Just completely shoddy workmanship. And to make matters worse, the lab had made the top of the orthotic black, but had not covered the edges of the orthotic, which showed layers of brightly colored foam. And because there was a this crappy-workmanship gap, you could see this edge. UGLY. And the orthotic made the sandals too tight and uncomfortable, even though I was assured I should order the sandal that fit me right and the lab would take care of the rest. They gave me blisters.
Oh, but we haven’t gotten to the worst part. The orthotics don’t work. It’s almost as if the lab didn’t even bother to shape them to my feet (of which they have fancy 3-D digital scans). While my orthotics for my sneakers push hard on my arches (thus keeping me from pronating), these don’t even touch my arches. I could tell within a few hours (and that mostly seated at my desk) that these were not giving me the support they are supposed to. Essentially, I just paid $500 for a little bit of extra arch support.
I knew this was going to happen Wednesday night as soon as I tried them on. Anyone want to guess what happened Wednesday night? I guess it’s not so hard to figure out: total meltdown. I was fine through dinner. Fine through TV-time. But when I started doing my stretching I got this insane rage. And then I tried to go to take that rage to bed with me and it was all over. I took a tranq and cried for about 20 minutes. I was just at the end of my fucking rope with everything. And so, 5 days into IVF Cycle 4, I had my first serious breakdown. (Which isn’t even a record, sadly enough.)
Thursday I became resigned to the fact that I was going to have to return the sandals and demand my fucking money back. (And maybe even switch doctors, as each doc apparently only has a contract with a single lab, and this lab sucks.*)
And then on Thursday I worked my ass off some more.
Last night I took a tranquilizer as a prophylactic (not THAT kind of prophylactic, of course, because I’ve now learned that my years of devoted birth control efforts were all a fucking joke). Which seemed to work.
And today I hit the jackpot: fuck-it nirvana. I’ve got a moot court on Monday. Oral argument on a brutally hard issue on Tuesday. Trip to NY and presentation in front of hundreds on Wednesday.** Complex bitchy brief due a week later.
What-the-fuck-ever. I just don’t care anymore. And not caring is the best feeling in the world.
All I can ask for now is that my fuck-it nirvana holds through the rest of the storm. Because you never know when fuck-it nirvana will abandon you and leave you out in the cold, blinking back tears and hanging on by a thread.
* I can’t be the only woman out there who needs orthotics and sandals at the same time! Now that I’ve tried throwing money at the problem, and even THAT failed, I am feeling so helpless. I’ve been trying to get out of my ugly-ass sneakers for well over two years. Does anyone know how I’m supposed to resolve this???
* Every time I tell someone at work that I’m really stressed about not being prepared for this presentation, they tell me “oh, you’ll be great, you’re always so good at that sort of thing.” I’m ready to rip the face of the next person who says this. You want to know why I’m good at oral arguments and presentations and trainings and such? Because I prepare, asshole! I’m anal and like to be prepared. That is why I generally seem prepared. Sheesh.