How to Survive the Confluence of Suck


A confluence, as shown above, is where two rivers join to become one, or a situation in which two things come together or happen at the same time.

Something that sucks, well, that just sucks.

Over the past 11 weeks at my day job we have been moving from one warehouse/headquarters to a brand new building. This has required moving 200,000 boxes mostly by hand, all of the computer equipment, furniture, personal items, etc.

At the same time we found out that our landlord was moving back to the country and we had to move out of our residence, find a new place, move in, and take a fence down we had put up at the old place because the landlord didn’t want it.

That, my friends, was a confluence of suck.

Throw in the fact that I work a night job 4 days a week, we have two kids (one of which got a bad stomach bug during this time), a dog (who got into raisins and had to go to the vet), plus I got turned down for an opportunity that I wanted, and it’s just been a hard three months.

Yesterday, though, we turned in the keys to the landlord. 4 weeks before we were required to, (but still 4 weeks after we were already sort of in the new place). For 1 month we paid rent at two different places because my schedule severely limited the time we had to move. Note to self: next time, hire movers.

This Saturday is the final Saturday I should have to work for quite a while, and our lives will slowly be returning to normal – or at least as normal as someone who works two jobs. How did we survive? Well, looking back, here’s how:

1. Acknowledge that this DOES suck!

The simple of fact of stating out loud “man this situation really stinks”, validates the tiredness, the irritability, and the stress. So you and your partner should occasionally remind each other “Yep this isn’t exactly paradise”.

2. Make sure that it’s TEMPORARY, and REMEMBER that!

In my situation, we knew going into it that there was an end date. We knew the last box would eventually get moved from both the old warehouse and the old residence. If you’re going through a tough time, try to determine when it will be over and mark it on the calendar. If it goes beyond that date, you need to figure out why and how to make sure it’s temporary.

3. It’s sometimes better to extent the suck, if you get a short break in the middle.

Mothers day weekend we didn’t move any boxes from the warehouse, we also would occasionally not work a Saturday evening moving the things out of our house and into storage. While those breaks probably delayed us by a few days, it helped keep our sanity, and our health.

4. After it’s done, rest and recover before jumping into something else.

I have a bad habit of going, “Wow look at what I can accomplish when I’m in crisis mode, we should be this busy all the time!” Don’t do this. Rest and recover from surviving the suck, and then you can move on to another project.


The confluence of two rivers into one is a mighty big deal. But all rivers are temporary. They eventually reach the lake or sea. So hang on, and ride it out. You CAN do it.

12 thoughts on “How to Survive the Confluence of Suck

  1. Martie Summerfield

    Very good advise. I’d add to that, tell your partner daily that you appreciate them.

  2. Candess M. Campbell

    Just the fact that you wrote about this shows that you have the ability to be aware of yourself from a heightened place. I find that often softens the “suck” blow. I love that you used the symbolism of rivers. Reminds me that we can never step into the same river twice. Thanks for the reminder to rest.

  3. Alene A Geed

    I loved your analogy of the confluence of the rivers. So happy you survived this over the top crisis mode. Your suggestions for dealing with this time in our lives (and it happens to all of us) were great. My favorite was allowing a break during the crisis and of course realizing there IS an end to the craziness.

  4. MuttButs (@MuttButs)

    Wow! That sounds like it really sucked. But, like you said, you saw an end in sight. Take some time to rest and recover. So glad you knew to take your dog to the vet after getting into the raisins. Hope he’s feeling better!

  5. Margy

    Great story! I agree life happen and the only thing you can do is embrace it no matter how bad things feel and seem


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