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from funk to fab. also. hello autumn.

October 12, 2010

I was in one of those funks the other day. Seriously, the cloud over my head was dark and threatening to rip wide open.  I was sitting with a dear friend in a café, crabby for no good reason and he asked me to stop and think about those things that were good in my life right now. And though I generally loathe having sunshine blown up my ass while in the midst of a funk, preferring to wallow in sad music and draft an existential crisis manifesto, I played along (having blown sunshine up thine’s rear end in the past).

“Fine”, I said, “I’m grateful that this espresso is God’s gift to earth, that this cookie doesn’t taste like ass, that I am here with you (you’re pretty cool) and that I am going to London soon to see the man I love. There. Done. Happy? Permission to sulk now?”

The funk was very ornery and obviously had no intention of leaving anytime soon. And his pal, guilt, was lurking around too.

For some reason, the situation reminded me of something someone once said to me. I was talking about my imperfections, I suppose, and she said “Imagine, I have this handicap. I can’t unbend my thumb. It’s been bent for as long as I can remember and there is nothing I can do about it. But I spend my entire time focusing on that damn thumb, cursing it and pouring all my energy into it and while I am busy doing that, I am neglecting the other four fingers, which are very capable and have much to offer.” She said sometimes you just have to let go of what doesn’t work and focus on what does. She used to teach self-defense and she would tell people, “Don’t fight with what is taken. If your hands are bound, use your feet. If your legs are pinned down, fight with whatever is free.”

So that night, I surrendered. I dismissed the drill sergeant with a “buck up, son” attitude (the judgmental dude that lives in my head). I hung my brave face in the closet and allowed myself to wallow. I sat with the funk. I let it in. I stopped fighting it. Stopped trying to figure out the source. Stopped. Full Stop. I may have even had one too many glasses of wine and cried over some cheesy chic flick.

The next morning, I woke all puffy eyed and went for a bike ride up the mountain and down through the cemetery. And that is where my funk finally lifted. All the stuff, which I somehow stirred up the previous day, sank to the bottom and joy rose to the top (in the most unlikely of places, there, amongst the dead).

Just like that. Poof! As if I’d sprayed funk-be-gone all over my psyche. And I realized that, indeed, you’re sometimes better off accepting certain situations rather than fighting like hell. It’s all about channeling your inner Kenny; know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em, folks.

Also, that damn sunshine sure does help…. how can anyone possibly resist its ridiculous cheer?

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2010 9:29 pm

    Oh, I love this post. It is such a great reminder. I have those “funk” days. The wallowing, the poor me. I love the self defense analogy. I need to remember to come back here when the next one hits!

  2. October 13, 2010 1:43 am

    such beautiful photos!

  3. Joe permalink
    October 13, 2010 3:48 am

    Oh the joys that are the come. Hurrah. Gulp! ;).
    Ps. Love the angel on the hill. Reminds me of Peter pan. See ya.

  4. Alison permalink
    October 13, 2010 5:29 am

    So beautiful and uplifting and so much more that I can’t even think of because I’m too moved at this particular moment. I’m not even sure exactly which words struck a chord but I’m writing this with tears streaming down my face. Thank God for funk lifters and thank God for friends who share their stories of comparison with us so that indeed we can and do realize how lucky we are. We so often compare ourselves with the “haves” bemoaning the fact that we don’t have all they have. If we just compared ourselves more often with the “have nots” what a difference that would make. We have eyes, we have working arms and legs. We can hear, we can feel, we can love and be loved.
    OMG, you’d think I just drank a bottle of vino instead of a few sips of morning coffee. It’s just that your post and a friends’ e-mail last night basically said the same thing, hers albeit without your eloquence. And you know what? Kenny so had it right. Know when to hold em and know when to fold em. I so need to work on that. Thanks

  5. Alison permalink
    October 13, 2010 5:30 am

    Oh and the pictures? Ooh la la

  6. October 13, 2010 7:12 am

    the permission to “be” is so hard to give to ourselves, right? i struggle with it even this morning. thanks for this post.

  7. October 13, 2010 9:46 am

    wow. really? seriously? print these words out and nail them to your wall. hell, frame them.

    awesome writing.

    beautiful.

    pictures, too.

    ( and thanks for your awesome comments. they are always my favorites)

  8. October 13, 2010 10:27 am

    I was on the mountain this weekend too, gorgeous! Love that last shot, it looks like the angel just alighted on the stone. I often find that just stepping outside for a bit, going for a walk with or without my camera, is enough to lift the funk. It doesn’t always work and certainly the trickiest part is getting out there (I don’t always make it off the couch) but it sure does wonders to get me out of my head.

  9. October 13, 2010 12:16 pm

    This is such a great post! Beautiful, inspiring words and those photos match it perfectly. I am crazy about the second photo!

  10. Ashley Erin permalink
    October 13, 2010 5:25 pm

    Perfectly put! I do the same thing when I have funk days. I always start out trying to fight it, but in the end I realize that it’s just going to be one of those days. So I pout and watch my cop shows and drink wine and pet the cat. Then I go to bed and the next morning, my whole attitude is different.

    But I find it extra hard to keep this strategy in mind when the funk is longer than a day or so.

  11. October 14, 2010 3:11 pm

    i feel the same. if i just let myself cry i feel better. and yet, i still fight it sometimes. when will i learn?
    the pictures are lovely. 🙂

  12. Jess (boy) permalink
    October 15, 2010 9:21 am

    Jeanine,
    Amen to that big orb in the sky! Beautiful photos, thank young for those! What a nice post about surrender!
    I used to have days like that too! That’s, of course, before I started keeping cans of FunkBGone tucked into my pants when I go out, in the broom closet at home, and even a spare in the car– ya know, just in case!
    FunkBGone now comes in Party size too, so you can just Funk Shit up anytime! Xox

  13. October 17, 2010 5:44 am

    Beautifully written, as always. And your photos have got me reaching for my camera again, even though Spring is springing here on the other side of the world and there aren’t any rusty-coloured leaves for me to capture! I almost feel inspired enough to dust off my bike and go for a ride 🙂 Glad you are feeling better XX

  14. October 17, 2010 5:56 pm

    I just love you– that is all. Oh, and? You are just one of my most favorite-est people in the world. That is all.

  15. October 21, 2010 12:22 am

    Such an interesting post. I can definitely work myself into a serious blues funk sometimes, and while I know my friends are trying to be well meaning with that type of positive attitude, it just doesn’t seem to sink in for me! Sometimes you just have to let it be, and it goes away on its own. Lots of times when you’re doing something you enjoy (even if you’re in a bad mood to begin with). At least for me. 🙂

  16. October 28, 2010 5:56 am

    I just discovered your blog via Gypsy Girls Guide and I am so glad I did! What a lovely space you have here. I can’t wait to come back again. Those are beautiful fall photos, I live in a city that does not get a whole lot of leaves changing color (a bit, to be sure, in the parks and probably more in the surrounding countryside, but not like these).

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