Category Archives: time traps

Frustration as Fuel for the Fire

I’m frustrated. I haven’t been here for…way too long. I haven’t been anywhere for way too long. My time has been consumed by moving.

Moving? Yes. After 28 years of living in the same house, and collecting everything (I inherited my pack-rat hoarding ways from my grandfather, Martin Troyer—but that’s another story.) that I ever experimented with, I now have three areas of the house that I’ve used for office space, a mountain of books beside my bed, and two shop areas in the basement. And that doesn’t include a tractor shed full of junk. Yes, I’m hopeless. Just ask my wife.

Anyway, now we’re moving. Ugh! And I must sort out, throw away, organize, and move my treasures to the next house. Fortunately, it is only eight miles away, and I have all summer to accomplish this gigantic task.

Unfortunately, I have to downsize. And the problem is time. All of my free time—what little there is—is now consumed with the moving process. And there is no time left for “creative” pursuits, like writing, blogging, wordturning, landscaping, and inventing. Consequently I am making little progress on my second book.

The first book is finished and off to an editor. It has taken a long and winding journey, being accepted by a small press, forgotten by an agent, back to the small press to be rejected until changes were made that hadn’t been a problem the first time it was accepted, finally accepted by the small press, then delayed for publishing beyond the contract allowance. When I retrieved the copyright, I looked for a new editor to do some polishing. After finding one, the editor retired before my book was finished. Now I’ve found a new editor, and I’m going to the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference in Nashville in August to begin, again, looking for an agent. I know, too much information – boring.

But the point of the above is FRUSTRATION, both with the process and now my lack of time.

Plus, I should be working on my second novel. Instead, I’m parting with junk, organizing treasures, and moving it all one direction or the other—to the trash or to the next house.

I realized recently that I need to use this extreme frustration productively. I decided that I must take that energy and channel it into determination, determination to find some spare moments to write, to get back to blogging, updating my website, shepherding novel #1 through the publishing process, and getting back to working on novel #2.

Taking lemons and making lemonade.

So, how about you? How have you taken adversity and used that to stiffen your determination to succeed?


Yes, it’s been way too long. And yes, I’m writing about frustration. In my last post I wrote about the joy of moving out of pain. And we did a month ago. But what I didn’t know then was that the deluge of paperwork was just beginning.

Yes, after those two weeks of torture, we still had to shuffle papers. We had to pay a consultant to travel to our office and do a total redo of our lab manual. We did proficiency testing. And we’re still working on the process. And it’s still not over.

At the same time, I’ve worked with the attorneys that are settling my father’s estate. That takes time and patience. And unfortunately family doesn’t always understand the process. They want things completed quickly, and they think it’s your fault when it doesn’t happen that way. Or they misjudge your motives. You’re trying to do what’s right, and everyone else attacks you.

Joy may be born of pain. I don’t know what comes after frustration. I suspect it will just be tired relief that the struggle is finally over.

The pain that comes before joy may be the valley of the shadow of death, but the frustration that precedes that true joy is climbing the mountain above the valley of the shadow of death.

We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close. If I sound jaundiced about the whole process, I am. I’ve never seen regulations so interfere with medical care or worsen medical care, as this. I’ve heard stories of the IRS shutting down businesses without cause. I’ve heard a myriad of stories about the EPA and their devastating effect on business. Now I know what it’s like.

So we’re in the frustration phase. I can see the mountain peak ahead. We’ll be there soon. We’re still climbing. Never give up.