Let’s just get it out in the open:
I’m still in a bit of a funk.
But I gotta tell you, after dreaming about emptying port-o-potties all night, something does seem to have shifted and I feel slightly better, as of this moment.
But I don’t want to jinx it.
So because I had a Not So Great Week, which resulted in a lot of cracker eating and zero blog ideas, I woke this morning with nothing to post, thus breaking rule #1 of blogging: be consistant!
Lately, the pressure of having to come up with a readable post every Tuesday has made me feel kind of like this:
Which is why I had every intention of blowing it off this week. I wanted to write in my journal, or work on my other-thing-that-I-don’t-know-what-it-is-but-may-be-a-long-thing-which-I-might-call-a-book-if-it-didn’t-make-me-sound-all-fancy-and-full-of-myself.
But then I had half an idea, and it came to me like this:
Eight Ways To Make Yourself Feel A Little Better When Things Kind of Suck
The following is a list of little things that you can do today, if you’re feeling blue, instead of drink vodka or spend all your money on shoes.
- Wash your car. Now, technically, this can cost you money, especially if you live in LA where using water is illegal, but even if you have to plunk down a few bucks, it’s a small price to pay for the lift you get. I took mine in, and the guy even dug out the melted tootsie roll from the back door handle, which revived my will to live, for an entire day.
- Make your favorite song into your phone’s ring-tone. I don’t pretend that this isn’t old news to anyone under the age of thirty, but to me, it was a revelation! I knew you could make a song your ring-tone, but I didn’t know that you could use, like, ANY song you want. And I didn’t know that it would change your entire response to a phone call, from an annoying interruption, to a little mini dance break! (Do yourself a solid and find a kid to do this for you. I used tech support, aka, my eleven year old, so now I hear Beast of Burden when my phone goes off in yoga class, which eases the sting of shame.)
- Get completely absorbed in a book that takes you somewhere else. You know that thing about “being in the moment?” This is the opposite. This strategy is ripped from my Grammie’s playbook, who may not have been a voracious reader, but she was a big fan of living in denial, and you know what? She seemed pretty happy! Right now I’m reading this, and it transports me to a whole other world, makes me laugh and cry and forget all the shit that needs forgetting.
- On the subject of books, put a poetry book in your car. Full disclosure: I actually left the used volume of Anne Sexton poems in my car because I tried to give it to a friend and she was all, “Um, thanks, but I’m not really into poetry,” and so I took it back and left in under the pile of sweaty gym towels and Chipotle bags on my front seat. In doing so, I discovered that the time it takes for my son to go search for his ridiculous $20 water bottle, which I will not replace (do you hear me? I will not!), is just enough for me to read a nice little poem about death.
- Clean something dirty and boring. It has to be boring because the last thing you feel like doing right now is thinking, and it has to be dirty because you really need, you desperately need, to feel that you can make at least some things better. I chose to clean the baseboards of our house. By the way, this is something that, at age 50, I have never actually done. I am gross. In my defense, life has gone on just fine, even with dirty baseboards, so if this sounds like something that you have no interest in doing because cleaning shit feels like half the reason you want to eat all the cheese and stay in bed, skip it. I was comforted by seeing my wet rag covered in grime, revealing hope for the future underneath, but you may want to give this idea the finger, which I wholeheartedly support.
- Get rid of all your shit that’s broken. I have a necklace that I loved, but which has been tangled up for so long that I finally threw it out. Sure, I could have taken it somewhere to be fixed or buy a new chain, but in the three years it’s been sitting on my bedside table, I never did that. There’s a pair of pants that need new zipper, and a lamp that wobbles so much it falls over every time I turn it on. There’s the hose in the back yard, and my mini-food processor that smells like burning hair when I try to make pesto. Out they go. I had to make peace with the fact that some things just aren’t going to get fixed. That realization alone may have given me my first decent chunk of sleep in a fortnight.
- Start back doing that thing that you used to do before, for no apparent reason, you just stopped doing it. I used to wake up and write in my journal every day. I didn’t write anything great and I didn’t write for long, but it was a very civilized thing to do and for some reason I stopped (I blame my dog). So this week I started writing in my journal again. Not blog ideas, not to-do lists, just good old boring blah-blah-blah that goes straight from my heart, down my arm, and onto the page. It feels reassuring that I can go back to something I used to love, and it’s still there. I imagine this could work for almost anything, provided you’re being straight with yourself and you actually liked it and didn’t just wish you liked it. For example, I would never go back to trying to learn how to do this:
- Give something up. I am not talking about sugar, or gluten, or god forbid– swearing. Fuck no! I am talking about something you tried on, but that just isn’t you. Like, I’m giving up having my books arranged by color, as I saw on Pinterest. I also saw it at a very artsy and cheerful friend’s house and I thought, “Oh, how cool! I’m going to do that. I’m going to be neat-o.” Cut to me cussing a blue streak while searching for the book on anxiety that “I could really fucking use right now, but was the cover orange with blue writing or blue with orange writing?!” You may have something more deep and meaningful to give up, like a whole relationship, but it’s ok to start small, I think. Find something that just isn’t you and scrap it. Its the psychological equivalent of taking your bra off when you get home, and don’t you love that feeling?
Okey-doke, there you have it. Free advice from someone who doesn’t have a single clue what she’s talking about! Why else would you read a blog?
I know why you might read a blog, it’s the same reason I read them, and the main reason I write one: it’s a window. It’s a window into someone’s life, and that can feel kind of nice, or at least interesting. Because we all wonder if we’re super weird, or just a little weird, don’t we? And it’s also a window to see out, to yell across the unkept yard, “Hey neighbor! How’s it going?”
And to answer,
“A little better, today, thanks for asking.”