In a Funk? 😒 Try this 5-Minute Fix 🌞🌻💡🔎🥰
Labor Day 2021 - Move-in day at Stratton Mountain School for Aaron '22 and Mary '24
You don't need me to tell you that there are moments in life that require you to suddenly reprioritize your time. In other words, sometimes, things go seriously sideways.
This particular time, it was my husband getting a breakthrough case of COVID-19 right in the middle of back-to-school. The subsequent reprioritization required that I race to Jersey City at 9 am over a national holiday weekend so our two teens could get one hour rapid PCR tests. We headed north on the thruway while we waited for the results that would either allow us to keep driving and complete school drop-off in Vermont, or require us to abort the whole process and return home to quarantine. My anxiety level was on high, circling like a Doppler radar from one item to the next.
Thankfully, my kids were negative, I got them moved in, and my husband is recovering. Coming down off of the non-stop adrenaline surges that powered those 10+ days, however, threw me into a major funk. I found myself in a quiet house - teens at school and Dave quarantining in another state – feeling unmoored and spent.
Meanwhile, in the middle of all of this, my inner critic announced – "Well, why didn't you just pull together the Thursday newsletter like usual?" My rational self pushed back: "You know what??? There were extenuating circumstances and it's okay to push the newsletter out a bit." The two of them went at each other in my head for days.
When I get like this I want to tell myself that I "should" be thankful, "should" find happiness in the little things, "should" feel fulfilled, should, should, should... But "should" doesn't work.
I decided to take action: I went full Marie Kondo and wrote a list of "Things We Could Do This Weekend to Spark Joy While Still Socially Distancing" now that Dave is now out of COVID jail and thankfully feeling better. Just giving myself permission to write this list made me realize that as stressful as the last few weeks have been, there is, in fact, much to be thankful for.
My Short Spark Joy List
- Try out a new bike trail
- Finish binge-watching Ted Lasso
- Buy a bag of Jersey peaches and make a pie
- Walk to Dairy Queen and eat ice cream on the little bench
We might get to some – or maybe even just one – of these things. But the act of taking five minutes to consider the possibility of having some fall fun with my love was enough. It lifted my mood and sent my funk meandering reluctantly toward the curb.
Every single one of us is juggling an endless list of things that have to get done daily basis, and that's before those moments when things go sideways. Life is funny and beautiful and satisfying and sweet. It is also hard and messy and painful and disappointing.
In the middle of the mess, take a breath, make a fun list, and carve out a little bit more of whatever makes you happy.
Originally published: September 23,2021