Life is Difficult. Work is a Mess.
The first line comes from M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled. The second comes from a classical Tibetan Buddhist text called The Root Text of the Seven Points of Training the Mind and which I gleaned from Michael Carroll's Awake at Work.
The two sentences might initially strike you as pessimistic, but, upon reflection, I found a lot of wisdom in them. We have a tendency to go through life and work assuming that things mostly work in steady state, except for when something randomly unravels, causing us some suffering in life or some work to actually do when we're at work.
The reality is that there is no steady state. Loved ones die. Or miraculously get well. Valued customers cancel orders. Or double them. The unplanned is as likely to occur as the planned. Much of working and living -- or anything that requires a conscious mind -- entails dealing with things when they, for better or worse, go off the rails. Everything else is rest.
Currently, I'm trying to challenge myself to live in the present, as opposed to the past, the future or some idealized state of how things would be if all of life's current hassles would just resolve themselves without my involvement. In other words, to be here now.