I was first introduced to Jack's Mannequin in 2007/2008 by my friend Tyler. He was my work buddy and we spent many hours in between troubleshooting calls talking about music and life. Every time I hear anything by JM or any of Andrew McMahon's other ventures I think of him and his wife Heather. Swim is one of my favorite songs from the album "Glass Passenger". Sunday in my Poise class Brittany had us doing a Pilates swim and these lines popped into my head - "You've gotta swim. Swim for your life. Swim for the music. That saves you. When you're not so sure you'll survive. You gotta swim". It just seems so incredibly fitting for how I've been feeling lately.
January might just be one of those months where no one is owning it. Every place I turn I have friends struggling and feeling out of their “zone” if you will. I am right there with them - the last 3 weeks have been incredibly unnerving on several fronts in my life. I’m feeling sucky and sometimes I just don’t feel like sugarcoating or downplaying it.
Now, before I continue….are my problems “first world problems”? Of course they are - I live in the first world! I HATE hate hate hate when someone counters “I’m having a tough time” with “First world problems!”. No one I know in my immediate world is struggling for shelter or clean water. So yes, whatever I’m going through does pale in comparison to that. However, my problems are still my problems.
The ironic part of this post is I’m not going to list all the shit going on in my life and solicit ideas / opinions to fix it - I used to be a fan of that. Now I’m a bigger fan of talking about how to move past the “downs” in life without staying down too long. My inner circle knows what’s up and hopefully in a few weeks time I’ll be back on top and owning life again. But for right now, I’m just not myself and that's OK.
So how do you “own” the sucking?
1. Accept that things suck - but do so in a way that allows for change. Thing won’t always be this way, I know that. So I refuse to let thoughts like “What if this never improves?” make their way into my mind. I can accept where I am isn't where I want to be and still be hopeful for where I’ll go next simultaneously. Active acceptance!
2. Lean in. I am the QUEEN of glossing over. I can find the bright side of anything from a bad relationship to being lost in Compton at 2am. It’s easy to ignore it, harder to lean in and work through what’s going on. Write. Talk to friends. Scream. Do whatever you need to do to work through it but don't stifle it or gloss over it - you're just doing yourself a disservice. A play on a Danielle LaPorte "Don't force yourself to be interested, it could cost you years" - don't force yourself to be "OK" if you're not.
3. Give yourself space. Since I transitioned to working from home I try to work from a cafe often and make plans every night to keep myself social - right now that’s not contributing to my life in a positive way so I’m going to stop. I need less plans, or rather fewer, more targeted plans. Yes to breakfast dates, Yes to fitness classes. No to things that feel obligatory and aren’t bringing me joy. No to people who don’t bring out the best in me.
There you have it - my 3-fold approach to owning the suckiness. Any additional tips you can offer?
Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll be back to my sparkly myself in a bit - no season lasts forever, right?