In a Funk? Grab Some Friends

I had been in a funk for the last two weeks. A gawd-awful funk. Last week, I whined about writer’s block over on Twitter. At a family gathering recently, even a relative mentioned how boring my recent posts had become. My reaction was simply to shrug.

The house had been slipping over the summer. I couldn’t remember the last time I mopped the floor. (Mom, cover your eyes.) In the last two weeks, I struggled to maintain some sense of order as the kids went back to school. I woke up each morning with a horrible attitude of, who cares? Friends didn’t really know, or notice, because they assumed that I was busy at the desk, hammering away at blog posts and articles.

The only time I found some joy was barreling down the lake at full throttle on the jet ski. Speed, glorious speed took the edge off and set my heart beating with excitement. Ah yes, the jet ski– the midlife solution to a crisis.

I sent out an email to my BookHands club. How’s everyone doing, I wondered. Anything to start up some conversation– to connect during a time when I wasn’t really connecting with anyone. One by one, they chimed in with updates. I didn’t realize it, but my replies didn’t really reveal anything that was going on with me. The funk had me too buried to notice. One of the BookHands gals dragged it right out of me. “Karen, I don’t know if u’re aware of this. But lately in most of your emails you pepper people with questions, but don’t volunteer any information about yourself or day to day experiences. We sincerely care about you and want to know what u’re up to.”

So I unloaded. ” I’ve been in a gawd-awful funk for the last two weeks. It isn’t depression, it’s what I call ‘in the rut’ feeling. Seth Godin calls it ‘The Dip.’ I call it a “I don’t give a rotten crap” feeling. It’s where you let everything go and then feel overwhelmed and have no idea what to tackle and at the same time, you don’t care about tackling anything. Ack.”

And as it turned out, others were struggling too. The Life Plateau. Emails shot back and forth. Suggestions. Tips. Support.

And I began to feel better. Things began to shift and change.

I woke up and recited five things that I was grateful for. I started the day with some light yoga. One of the BookHands gals chided me for not having some heart pumping exercise in my routine. So this week, that’s on my agenda.

Other things happened– I reconnected with the Loopies– a group of online friends that began eight years ago. We met through AOL’s Home VS Hospital Birth Forum. Some of them are grandmas now. It was a wonderful blast through the past to reconnect and see how everyone is doing. It made me aware that time is marching on–much faster than I’d like it to.

There’s a lesson here– for all of us to reach out to one another, most especially during the low times when we feel most alone.

After all, that’s what friends are for.

13 replies
  1. Michael@ Awareness * Connection
    Michael@ Awareness * Connection says:

    Nice piece that illustrates important truths about life. It is easy to get into a rut and for our moods to spiral downward. Flow experiences, as in your jet ski ride, can lift us out of a funk, at least temporarily. And one of the best things ever is getting in touch with friends to pull the soul outward a bit. Thanks for sharing this.

    Michael@ Awareness * Connections last blog post..Guest Post Over at Parent Talk Today

  2. Kara
    Kara says:

    Karen-
    This post came at such a meaningful time for me…Definitely feeling you with the funk-thanks for some great suggestions. I think I’m going to try and schedule another Panera meetup with my friend this week and take your other advice. I have to find a way to feel better!

  3. Joanna Young
    Joanna Young says:

    Karen, thanks for sharing this. It is of course the hardest thing to do – to reach out precisely at the time when things are turning inwards – but that doesn’t make it any less true!

    I think it’s a particular challenge for social media – we don’t really want to write about (or read about) the times when we’re in the funk, only when we’re out of them again. And yet if we don’t share some of that stuff the interactions start to feel untrue – which means we’re even more likely to switch off and out.

    Don’t know what the answer to that is – but I’m glad you’re feeling better

    Joanna

    Joanna Youngs last blog post..How To Write About Hot Issues

  4. Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome
    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome says:

    Karen:

    Thank you! I’ve been in a funk all weekend and it was feeling like it wouldn’t end. Given that my English-language connections are six hours behind me, I have to wait to do some chatting, but I definitely will go connect with some people today and drag myself out of this funk.

    Thanks for prompting me on my own funk-awareness!

    Cheers,
    Alex

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndromes last blog post..Trapped in the Day-to-Day: Urban Panther Interview Part 1

  5. DeafMom
    DeafMom says:

    @Michael– I love how you describe it as “pulling the soul outward!”

    @Kara– I love meeting friends for lunch– that’s another way to chase the “funky feelings” away.

    @Joanna– believe me, I found it really difficult to share this and it was much easier to share it when the funk was lifting. Imagine had I shared sooner– it might not have gone on so long!

    @Alex–if I can lend an ear/eye and help you with that funk, I’d be happy to.

  6. Amy Derby
    Amy Derby says:

    Hey Karen. Funk has been my middle name lately. I do get depression, so I’m not sure how to tell the difference. (Except expect a lot of extra whining from me over the winter, as then is when I get REALLY depressed.) 🙂 I am glad you seem to have snapped out of yours. Of course, if you ever want to talk you can write to me, or sign bad things at me that I will have to look up later. 😉

    Amy Derbys last blog post..Slammin’ Sunday: Andrea Gibson, and other poets who rock

  7. Mother Earth
    Mother Earth says:

    just so you know I think some major planetary pull has had many of us feeling a tad funky, in a funk or funked out

    I don’t care what anyone says the back to school transition isn’t easy

    I always feel like a trainwreck at this time of the year

    I am one for pause or purge – let it all hang out darlin

    praise be gratitude and reaching out

  8. DeafMom
    DeafMom says:

    @Mother Earth I was looking back at the two weeks and had a “duh” moment. Of course. Transitions always mark the low points for me and back to school is one of them. As much as I enjoy having the peace and quiet to write, I hate the back to school transition!

    So, are you saying that I’ll magically feel better after the last kid graduates from college? 😉

  9. Jodi
    Jodi says:

    1. Considering we usually get our periods together despite the distance, it could be extended pms.
    2. Have you considered a “Shake?”
    3. Then, there’s a really rockin’ roll that usually cures what ails ya, of course, when you’re in a funk, you usually don’t want to…funk, so
    4. Do what I do,
    Dance naked in front of the mirror…doesn’t get much scarier than that and suddenly,
    the world outside that bathroom becomes a much brighter place.
    Luv ya,
    Jodi

  10. DeafMom
    DeafMom says:

    @Jodi
    #1–Hmm, two weeks of it???

    #2 I can’t get shakes anymore from Steak ‘n Shake– guess I’ll have to make a homemade one!

    #3 That would mean the hubby’s participation and dang, he’s out getting a haircut right now.

    #4 If I dance in front of the mirror naked, I’m likely to damage my eyesight. Not gonna risk it. 🙂

Comments are closed.