What do you tell someone on a down day, too little and too fitful sleep, too little "accomplished," the ball of Un-done growing in her stomach, on her to-do's too much to do, and to add insult to injury it's a Monday? What will sustain her on the days when the door to the Backyard of Sunny Wisdom has slammed shut, the curtain has dropped, she has tumbled off the mountain of the Vista of Wide Perspectives, and her vision has become myopic and whiny once again and her extremities can't get warm?
Maybe you say, just keep trudging. Do just one thing. Maybe you say, be gentle, you don't have to to do it all today. Maybe you ask her if she has taken her ten minutes to sit quietly today, and she will respond no, quietly, chastened. Or remind her that every day can't be an uninterrupted concert of the angel's choirs. And that all things considered, in her very small little universe, an ordinary day in which no great catastrophes rained down is perhaps better than she gives it credit for.
You might tell her to lighten up, or look around. The quiet hum of the refrigerator, the snow on the ground, the sunlight already getting warmer and longer, belie the thesis that gets unproven again and again that this moment and day and era is permanent and intractable. In fact the shelf life is even shorter than she might guess, and before she knows it she will probably look up and see something else.
You might tell her that her daily work, the efforts she exerts, the humdrum of the routine is a perfectly fine endeavor, worth doing, worth getting lost in. That she will get smart again, and get happy, and accomplish some percentage of the ambitious tasks she lines up next to each other like pickets in a fence.
You might advise her just to ride the waves of uncertainty or boredom or the sense that she left an important part of her brain home that day. Tell her that the important thing is just that she not lose her lightness, so that she can float on that pounding surf until the weather changes or a new tide comes in or she is sighted from shore.
You might tell her all of those things, hoping one or the other sticks, hoping that some or all of them might be true.