It is, you know. Normal. To have a blue mood every once in a while. To be "in a funk." I'm not talking about depression. I'm talking about a day or two, maybe a week, when you just feel...blah. Life has lost its shimmer and shine. Maybe you have lost your shimmer and shine, too...temporarily.
That's me today...okay, this week, really. And I feel equal parts mad about it and guilty for it.
I don't want to feel blue. It's dumb. There's no reason for it. Nothing is wrong beyond the fact that it's February in Pennsylvania. But "the funk" doesn't care what I want. The funk will be, if it chooses to be. The funk will have its way...and that makes me mad.
I also feel an undercurrent of guilt. What right do I have to be blue? I am a happy person living a good life. People who are going through hard things have the right to be blue.
|What I'm supposed to feel like|
To a part of me, this rationale sounds as stupid as it is. You hear it, don't you? The insanity of that statement? But I'll be honest. Even when I write it here. Even when I want to make the point to you, and to myself, that it's okay; that it's normal to be blue sometimes. Even when I know exactly what my therapist would say about these guilty thoughts. (*whispers) I still think they're kinda true. If I'm honest, truly honest, underneath it all I don't believe that I have the right to be in a funk.
I mean, what the hell is wrong with me?
Truth is? Nothing. Nothing is wrong with me. It is perfectly normal to have blue moods and bad days and peaks and valleys in motivation and performance. This week I feel like an uninspired slug. I bet you have, too, at some point in the last few months...since it's part of the human experience. We are not energizer bunnies who keep going and going. We are humans. We need valleys between our peaks, ebbs between our flows, rest between our races.
And so it is that if we don't naturally impose such breaks on ourselves, then our lives or our bodies will impose them upon us on our behalf. Enter: low energy, low mood-- THE FUNK. I'm pretty sure this corresponds to some dip or rise in hormones, or the lunar cycle, or the seasons, or circus rhythms, or something. I'm also pretty sure I ought to be accepting it and going with it.
Cocooning and letting it be. Riding the ebb and waiting peacefully for the return of the flow.
Instead, I grit my teeth and get annoyed, and yell at a few people in frustration, and then get all down on myself and how unproductive and uninspired I feel and how I'm doing nothing with all that I've been given, and I get all introspective about the meaning of life and the time I'm wasting, and...
You get the picture.
So, the other night, I dropped my daughter off at Girl Scouts and then headed over to Panera. I made them brew a fresh pot of decaf for me which I loaded up with cinnamon, and I revved up my laptop and started writing this.
Because what writers do, even when they don't feel like it, is write.
On the writing front, when I'm not feeling sullen and moody, I've been working on a short story class and Aaron Sorkin's Masterclass over the past two weeks. I'm also reading a shit ton. I'm assuming it's to escape my current mental undertow. I just figured out that I'm currently reading ten books. Because that's totally normal. (insert eye roll here) Here's the book lowdown:
RANDOM OFF-TOPIC BOOK TALK THAT CANNOT BE HELPED. SORRY.
|Love. Book and Dog.|
Current hardcopy fiction: Sourdough or, Lois and Her Adventures in the Underground Market (just started; also, almost done; love it), Beneath a Scarlet Sky (just started), Heads of the Colored People (short stories), Poppy Mayberry (reading with my daughter), The Rules of Magic (shelved for the moment while I move through a stack of library books), and My Sister the Serial Killer (just finished).
Current hardcopy nonfiction: Save the Cat Writes a Novel (writing research), and The Opposite of Spoiled (a bookclub read...I'm not gonna lie, I'm skimming; money's not my fave topic).
No wonder I can't get anything done. All I do is read.
|Look! It's Aaron Sorkin.|
All of which means I have not been working on my novel revisions.
I am the poster child for Procrastiproductiveness!
Being procrastiproductive means you are super productive and get lots of stuff done, but never the stuff you really, really need to be doing. That is me. Even now, I'm getting a blog post written, which is great. But I'm actually here at Panera at 6:53pm to write a short story.
And, let's be honest, that novel's not going to revise itself.
|Me. Funk City. Population: 1.|
Also, love these headphones.
So here's what we're gonna do right now. We're gonna extend some grace to ourselves...which is to say, I'm going to extend some grace to myself. Just as I would to a dear friend. I would not berate my friend for her lack of...whatever. I would tell her she's amazing. I would tell her to stick with it, but take it easy on herself. I would tell her she is worthy no matter what she does or doesn't do. I would tell her that she is loved, just as she is.
I am amazing. I am worthy. I am loved. Just like my dear friends. Just like you.
Let's try to ride the waves of life with a little more comfort and ease. Relax into the valleys with as much grace as we climb those peaks. It's okay to feel a little blue. It's normal to have off days. Give yourself a break, even when the funk cannot be explained beyond: It's February.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Until next time, remember: You are amazing. You are worthy. You are loved.