Thursday, September 29, 2005


I haven’t written in awhile because I lost my groove. I was in a rut. I was in a funk. I was blue. This happens from time to time, sometimes for no apparent reason, and I don’t consider myself middle aged so it’s not mid-life crisis. (If I were middle aged that means I’d die at 74 and my kids would only be in their 40s and I can’t leave them hanging at that age.)

This bout of the blues stemmed from arguing with the hubby. All is well again, thank you very much, but it does suck when you’re in the middle of it. I think often times one assumes that because you’ve been married for almost 13 years you’re safe and yes you may argue or whatever, but for the most part you’ve got your shit together and are paddling in the same direction. You can never assume anything I’ve learned. However, I’m not here to discuss that, because it’s resolved and you know there are just some things you keep private even from your blogs.

Just the other day I was talking to a friend and he too is in a funk for no apparent reason, (FFNAR). He asked me how I got out of mine and it got me to thinking. In this particular instance it was resolved because the hubby and I talked and worked things out, but in other funks, when it just creeps up on you and it’s not because you’re PMSing or the job sucks or whatever, I’ve recognized a few common denominators.

When I’m in a FFNAR I tend to stop listening to music (my very life blood). I also withdrawal into myself and just sort of exist—I don’t talk as much as normal, I’m vanilla. In my world, as my kids like to say, vanilla is blah, boring, no waves on the water. I don’t want to interact with people.

FFNAR make me think deep thoughts like I really want to quit my job and do something so wild and creative and important. In the midst of FFNAR I feel hopeless, like I’m wasting time and talent, like nobody really understands me, like there’s no end in sight to most of my common every day issues. FFNAR also make me think about how fucked up my family is—mother with a martyr complex on the verge of a breakdown who might leave the alcoholic dad after 38 years, bi-polar unmarried sister with two kids (from different dads) who supposedly is going to marry the father of the second kid (because he’s divorced his wife back in Mexico—at least that’s what the Spanish papers he waived in front of her face are supposed to prove) this spring and a grandmother who’s knocking on the door of Alzheimer’s way too often. These things could bring a person down.

My friend in the funk said something about my having a husband and kids, and yes, sometimes that does help pull one out of a funk, but not usually. I think what I’ve learned, or am learning, is that simple rule that you have to be happy in yourself before others can make you happy or you can make others happy. Ok, yes, I know it’s schmaltzy, but it’s true. The hubby and kids can make me feel better, but they can’t lift me out of the funk if I’m not ready. The same as people without the hub or kids can’t rely on their friends or family or sig Os to do the trick.

I don’t think there’s a magic cure for getting out of the FFNAR, but for me cranking up the radio and singing along helps—music soothes the savage beast you know. Working in the yard, planting flowers, riding the lawn mower those all help. Realizing that no matter how bad I think things are, they could be much, much worse and I do have the ability to change some things and be creative and enjoy life and do whatever it is I was put on this planet to do. Maybe I won’t accomplish that today, or tomorrow, but I will accomplish it.

I think too we can draw comfort from the fact that everyone gets in a funk, and it’s not the end of the world. (Good Lord can I put another clichĂ© in here or what?) FFNAR hit people you think have it all. Some would look at me and say, wow you have a cool job, great hubby, smart, funny kids, what do you have to be in a funk about? I’d look at some of my friends and think the same thing—you’re single, answer to no one but yourself, travel the world, have an interesting business, work from home, have a rich spouse, are living your creative dream, whatever the case may be—but they too get in a funk.

Bottom line is—FFNAR happen. If they begin to last for a year or more, seek medication.


Anonymous said...

I recently heard someone say something that made a lot of sense: You have to take care of yourself before you can have anything to give others. Especially for women, we have to find ways to do things for ourselves that keep us above the breaking point, whether it's listening to music in the car, some precious time alone, or a weekend away with a loved one. Find something that gives you a lift, rinse and repeat!

Anonymous said...

That does make sense, but sometimes we get so bogged down in life it's hard to do that. I typically blame all my woes on money, though in my mind I know that can't be true.