I called one of my friends a while back, when I was having a case of the blues, to ask him how you get out of a funk. His short and sweet response (thanks Stephen) was, “Get out of the funk.” Now, he wasn’t being a smart behind. He was actually sharing sage wisdom. He was reminding me what I already knew. I had to be the one to change my mood. I was the only one responsible for my happiness.
I am often prescribing myself an attitude adjustment. I work hard to stay positive and accept responsibility for my situation in life, but it’s a skill that takes daily practice. Last night and into this morning, my skills were being thoroughly tested. I could tell because I was short on patience, had no interest in completing any tasks and I had a general sense of unease. My blues don’t last long. I’ve gotten pretty adept at allowing myself to wallow for a short period of time, shaking myself and getting it moving again.
As an entrepreneur in media production, you need to have a high tolerance for risk. As a single parent, you need to be willing to put someone else’s needs first and have an endless supply of energy and enthusiasm. Most days I manage, but it does catch up with me from time to time. Especially when I feel like things are not manifesting as quickly as I would like. I feel restless, like a caged tiger.
This is when I do the stuff that does not help me reach my goals. Some people would call it acting out. In my house it looks like mindless snacking, internet surfing or giving into a long and unproductive pity party. When I’m taking care of myself emotionally, I’ll call a friend and share what’s going on or listen to a mediation podcast (one of my favorite sites is http://www.mythoughtcoach.com). Normally, I find those coping tactics helpful in managing my blues.
This morning when I woke up with the blues that lingered on from last night, I knew it was time for another attitude adjustment. Once I got my daughter off to school, I sat down with a stack of notes and began writing my first solo script. I’d been caught up in the cycle of fear and excuses. I had a great story about why I needed to find a writer to tell the story that was in my head. I had been unwilling to put it down and risk it being bad.
Getting the characters, dialogue and situations onto paper seemed to act like a balm on my frayed psyche. Will it be an Oscar-winning screenplay? Who knows, and for these purposes, who cares? By taking action, I am one step closer to my achieving one of my goals. Once I’d written 16 pages I headed out for my first jog/walk since Sunday’s 5k race. My body had no desire to cooperate. I managed to jog almost 14 minutes before I stopped. My legs and knee hurt so I walked the rest of the way home.
Getting moving wasn’t about being perfect or looking great. I didn’t even realize that my actions would help alleviate the blues (I might have done them sooner if I’d known), it was a nice side effect of getting my butt moving. It’s so easy to say, I want this or that. The challenge is breaking through the fear and resistance that often paralyze us in a lifestyle, one that might not be the one we desire.
Today I took a step closer to the lifestyle I envision…and it blasted my blues away. Next time you get a bout of the blues,try doing something in support of your hopes and dreams.
It might just do the trick.