I woke up on Canada Day in a slump. And I mean a big slump. An – I don’t want to do anything, I feel horribly listless about life in general type of slump. It was bad. I knew I had two options. I could stay in that slump and continue on with my plans for the day like a sad and angry ‘you know what’ or I could do something that’s entirely doable no matter my mood. So that’s what I did. I gardened, or more accurately, I tackled the wilderness of two foot high weeds that was supposed to be our yard.
I spent five hours battling with the monster. Five hours. And I would have spent more but eventually hunger got the better of me. As I came in to eat I realized – my slump is gone. I had focused on something other than my sour mood, my feelings of listlessness, and I became the me I like once again. I didn’t specifically choose to feel better but I pursued an action that would get me there.
Today was another one of those slump days. After three weeks of a wonderful vacation – with hikes, and swims, two family weddings, lots of love, and lots of laughter – I would officially get back to work. And what were my thoughts? I don’t know where to start. Do I edit, do I write, do I read, and which of the many projects I’m working on is most important? I didn’t work at all on my blog or social media. I spent less than 10 hours on my novel – how can I accomplish anything if I’m not consistent!
I let these thoughts hold me down for a while.
After about a half hour of indulgence I decided enough is enough. I let resolve flow through me. I walked up the stairs. I realized the files I needed were on my netbook downstairs – the netbook that had been collecting dust for over a year but that I finally put out the money to get repaired – I walked back down the stairs. I picked up the netbook. I walked up the stairs yet again. I flipped the netbook open, watching as it slid out of my hand, catching it just as it bumped against the bookshelf, a sigh of relief running through me.
And then I looked into a broken screen.
It was an accident, one anyone could have made but all the emotions of my previous slump fell upon me as if dumped from one of those big buckets in a waterpark – the ones that rock there for awhile before they pour down, soaking you completely.
This was more than a slump. At that moment it felt like something akin to misery. I started crying – you know, that ugly, pathetic type of cry that you know deep down isn’t justified. How could I be so clumsy? Why aren’t I more careful? I just spent over a $100 on this thing – how much more will this fix be and if I don’t fix it then I’ve basically thrown the first $100 in the toilet. Stupid, careless klutz. Now how am I supposed to get my files? How am I supposed to work? How am I supposed to do anything?
I had a dark hour, culminating in the conclusion that my working day was ruined, a waste, and doesn’t that mean, at least a little, that I’m a waste too?
But it doesn’t. Not at all. And really, that’s a ridiculous conclusion to come to.
A few weeks ago I set a reminder on my phone to go off every three hours during the day – “What shall I be focusing on right now? What shall I be feeling?”
A lot of the time I ignore the little ping. I know what it says. I don’t need it when things are going well, when I’m where I want to be. Today though, it was a sharp and needed question – especially the latter part. What shall I be feeling?
A pretty empowering ability. One I don’t always manage to cultivate but one that exists nonetheless, in all of us.
Two of the videos that helped rejuvenate me!
What makes you feel most empowered? Most able to conquer your slumps?