I don’t think it’s unusual that every few months I fall into a small rut.
The problems feel as if they’re piling, stress tacks itself on to the struggles and sometimes it seems impossible to be your usual self.
When I hit that state about 3 weeks ago, I wracked my mind to figure out why now? What was the catalyst? Sure things weren’t easy. But they were seemingly small matters:
A library book I’d desperately wanted in the one section of the library that was under construction for a month. An extra day spent on the perfect cover letter, only for the job to close before I could submit. My boss put on temporary reassignment right after acquiring a ton of new projects. Veins growing in my eyes, prompting $200 in eye drops and rendering me unsure when I could wear contacts again. A sense of insecurity in my glasses. A feeling of loneliness prompted by the long work hours of my guy. Oh, and the spider found in my bed.
As I tried to trace the reasoning behind my pity party I realized that my mood didn’t start because my struggles existed; my upset mood was a result of my inability to solve the problems immediately.
Because I am not the strongest Type A planner who needs things to follow order. I am an adapter, I thrive in thinking up a Plan B, C, or D when crisis strikes. My strongest trait is my ability to expect change, embrace it, think on my feet and move on like nothing happened.
And I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember – from the day my parents announced they were divorcing ten years ago to when my house caught on fire at 3 in the morning junior year of high school when I also had 17 friends staying over from out of town and the expectation of hosting a New Years party two days away. Or let’s not forget the whole process of applying to study abroad junior year of college – from six weeks before departure when I was notified I didn’t have housing, right up to the week before depature when I got my wisdom teeth out and realized my passport and visa had gone AWOL with UPS. Always adapting. Always okay.
So, when things started unraveling this last time, I was unafraid to face any issues head on. But..that didn’t happen. Everything needed time and patience. And with my inability to steer the situation, I dragged further into feelings of defeat and doubt.
But then my little Blackberry – who has been with me for one-and-a-half years (a record) – stopped charging two weeks ago. The USB was broken. And while I had sentimental pangs for my phone, I recognized the situation. This was an opportunity for redemption. Phone issues, I can handle.
So, I made my mental list of options and visited my friend’s store where he fixes phones for a living, borrowed a temporary phone to charge my battery, finally found a provider location with a manager who was happy to send a replacement and just in case – got ready to blast a help message onto Facebook.
Somewhere inbetween taking control of my phone situation and reuniting with some friends in a public, social setting over that weekend (golf theme – perfect for my glasses), I got my groove back. And my confidence meant that suddenly all those tough still-left-to-be-solved situations didn’t seem that far off either.
I really wanted my point of this post to highlight the message of fixing your own problem to fix your mood. But I realize, the message is much deeper than exercising control. This was a great reminder of the importance of a positive attitude, no matter what you can and can’t control. For every funk, there is positivity to be found to kick away the doubt.
You get the idea.
My favorite lesson.