When you’re stuck in a life slump

I’m stressed right now. Like super stressed.

This big boiling pot of stress has been simmering for the last month and when i was in Italy last week I allowed myself to just forget about it but by the time I got home it has come to a full boil. With my new role at work (leading sales and marketing) I am learning new things and am accountable for new metrics. This is unfamiliar to me and even though I know I can do a great job at it it is still keeping me up at night stressing about whether I’m doing enough to protect myself, my team, and our company from falling below expectations.

On top of that I have taken on the goal of publishing one video every day on my Freezerburns Youtube channel and that is created an entirely different level of stress. Less about what content to create and more about the simple time it takes to shoot, edit, tag, and publish every day. All the videos I had in reserves are used up due to the lack of consistent bandwidth in Italy. So I’m going day to day now and that is super stressful!

I am the assistant coach of my daughter’s soccer team which is a 2 night commitment every week and head coaching my youngest son’s team which adds a third night! I took on a couple of sponsorships on Freezerburns and am helping a couple of friends launch some websites so I’m basically launching 3 websites this month if you include the site redesign we have at work. I’m working on a secret Food Bank website that is so kickass it’s killing me that I can’t share it but that’s taking a chunk out of my mindset. And to top it all off, we are beginning construction on our 3rd floor next week and I have about 100 boxes that need to be cleared out in the next 5 days.

All that is leading to one problem: no energy or motivation to run and you fellow runners out there know what damage that can do to your mindset. So to say I’m stressed right now is an understatement. I don’t say that for pity only to put into context what my life is like right now.

Because these last few days I have been a horrible husband and parent. Normally I feel really awesome about my performance in that category. I feel like I may not be a perennial All Star but I’m routinely on the nomination ballot. But right now I am in a serious slump. A couple of times this week I have strayed from our rules and made decisions that weren’t right. This isn’t crazy big things. Rather they were inconsistencies in my discipline or reward. They were singling out one kid over the other two unfairly. They were decisions that may have undermined the rules that my wife and I have worked so hard to create. And then they were mistakes I didn’t face up to.

I am in a serious slump.

While on paper I am getting things done, my mental state is so frail. Like a major league batter who is used to consistently getting on base is now routinely called out looking on strikes. Most baseball experts say that hitting slumps aren’t from hitters slipping on their mechanics, they say it’s a mental issue.


Here are 3 ways that I am trying to work myself out of this life slump.

1. Listing out my to-do list

Writing this blog post is a great start. Actually writing everything down that is stressing me out helps me prioritize what I need to get done and that helps a ton. But also doing so publicly gives the people around me an idea of what is keeping me up at night. I’m not asking people to help me solve it, just understand where I’m coming from.

2. Apologizing

I owe my kids and my wife a huge apology for dropping the ball. This isn’t about absolving my actions but rather putting it out there in the open. I need to tell my kids that “Daddy made the wrong decision when I did ___”. Showing my fallibility isn’t a bad thing after all and it also explains to them that this inconsistency was a lapse not a new normal.

3. Not sweating the small stuff

I have struggled with this my entire life. Sometimes when I’m super stressed I sweat the small stuff because the feeling of accomplishment in taking care of it feels good. But putting another thing on my list small or not just pushes me further away from accomplishing my real goals. Yeah, I need to replace the refrigerator water filter but that can totally wait until next week.


Life is complicated people.

And it has its ups and downs. If you’ve gotten this far , thanks for reading. This post was really more for me then it was for anyone else.

Gregory Ng

GOAL: Visit 100 National Parks as a family by 2020. Favorite Parks: Zion National Park, Mt Rainier National Park, Valley Forge National Historical Park

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One thought on “When you’re stuck in a life slump

  1. Probably not a newsflash for you but I’m going to say it anyway – you, my friend are only human. I absolutely love, love, LOVE your desire to be all things to all people. But, guess what – it’s actually not possible to do that without gaining the stress that goes along with it. I’m not going to give you steps 1, 2, and 3 to get out of the predicament you are in. It’s clear you have not only done that, but you are quite aware that you need to take steps. What I am going to tell you is one simple very important and quite common statement that perhaps it’s something you just need to hear again –

    It’s OK to say “NO”.

    Say “no” to a video today or tomorrow.
    Say “no” to picking up one more thing to help someone else out with whatever their need might be.
    Say “no” to extra digital work, in general.

    But say “YES” to –

    Being the awesome husband and father you are ALL THE TIME. Make that your number one priority. Work your other stuff around it.

    There is absolutely no question God has granted you gifts and talents and a HUGE heart for sharing them all. But, at some point, you’ve got to stop and smell those proverbial roses. Life is much to short not to. Much too short.

    That’s my two cents. I know you wrote this post for you, but perhaps you just needed to hear from a friend too. 😉 And that’s perfectly OK because sometimes all this blogging stuff isn’t about how you can help others. Sometimes it’s about how we can help you.

    Now, take a deep breath. Relax. Re-prioritize. Re-focus. Breathe some more and know you will get everything done you’ve set out to do in a time frame that works BEST for you. Because you will. I have faith, my friend. I have faith. 🙂

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