There are distractions.

There are excuses.

There are issues that come up and stop you in your track.

And there are levels to all of these. The lure of LOL Cats is obviously not the same kind of distraction as a gunman loose in your neighborhood. “I don’t feel like working” is hardly on the same level as “I just had chemo.” And the barista giving you the wrong flavor of coffee isn’t the same as dealing with a dying parent or spouse. But we use the same language for all of these things, regardless of level, and it’s easy to lose perspective and equate them.

I like to pride myself on being able to work through a wide variety of distractions, excuses and issues across the spectrum but every now and then something comes up that completely stalls me out. It may not be any bigger than something I’ve faced before but it’s different in a way that doesn’t let me stop thinking about it and it prevents me from getting work done. I feel listless, I can’t focus on my work and I genuinely don’t want to work (which NEVER happens to a workaholic like me). And, whenever it happens, I feel nothing but annoyed at myself.

I know that there are people out there with bigger problems on a whole level higher than whatever is messing with my head. They’re still working so what the heck is wrong with me? Why is this, of all things, stopping me in my tracks when that other similar thing didn’t? If I’m the person that I like to think I am, shouldn’t I be able to work through anything? Does this make me a quitter or weak? Or just human?

I try to console myself that we are not all apples and that you can’t really compare yourself to others like this. For all I know, I’ve made someone else feel this exact same way when I worked through something that stopped them in their tracks. I can’t possibly understand your experiences anymore than you can mine. But you’d think there would be some measure of comparison, some scale that would apply to most of us.

You know I don’t believe in cutting myself a lot of slack. When I do find myself stalled out like this, I still force myself to keep working even if it’s slow going because I know the only way out is through. And, in time, everything fades, no matter how big the tragedy or triumph. But I can’t help but obsessed over why this proved to be my Kryptonite. Why I even have a Kryptonite at all. Aren’t I supposed to be super-human?

What do you do when something in your life adds up to be a bigger distraction than you can overcome?