On Monday, I wasn’t in a very good mood. I felt petulant, whiny, bored, unmotivated and listless. I was in a funk, plain and simple. A big part of me wanted to sink into my sofa and continue feeling sorry for myself for the rest of the day. While another part of me demanded that I get off my ever-widening butt and pretend everything was peachy keen. The wise part of me recommended that I do neither.
I don’t want to become the person who whines constantly about how awful their life is (when it isn’t even remotely awful) while everybody just wants to shake them and point out everything good in their life. The things they cannot or will not see. Those people annoy me and some days I worry about becoming one of them.
Feelings Are Your Roadmap
On the other hand, we shouldn’t suppress our feelings either or consider them our enemy. I used to do this. All. The. Time. I can say with absolutely certainty that it never works out well. You can only compartmentalize or bury your emotions for so long before they explode out of you in all their messy glory. And sometimes it doesn’t happen at the most convenient time.
So I have learned to simply feel. Without judgement, just feel. I feel happy, balanced, light. I feel petulant and cranky. All of those feelings are okay.
They are signs. When I feel happy and fulfilled, I am doing things I love and nourish me. When I feel petulant, whiny, crabby, then I am not doing work that fulfills me or I’m not taking care of myself or I’m letting fear rule my thoughts. There is work that needs to be done and pretending everything is peachy keen isn’t the answer.
The Worst Kind of Wake-Up Call
In an attempt to stop feeling cranking about being cranky, I took a break and convinced the Max-E-Nator to snuggle with me. Feeling better, I grabbed my iPad and started cruising some of my favorite entertainment sites when I discovered that Robin Williams had died of an apparent suicide.
I thought it was some awful joke. He couldn’t have. He wouldn’t have. Maybe this site had been hacked, I thought. But every site had the same sad news.
I grew up watching Mork and Mindy and countless movies starring the rascally Robin Williams. He always made me laugh and forget my own troubles while it appears he couldn’t escape his own demons. He never hid his drug or alcohol problems, but I wasn’t aware that he suffered from depression and was struggling through a severe bout.
Sometimes sadness is the most debilitating disease, and one we rarely discuss.
Change Your Thoughts, Change Your World
I can’t pretend to imagine what was going through his mind at the end, but I can take control of my own thoughts. Lately my thoughts have been more on what I lack or what’s not going right. These unhelpful thoughts manifest themselves in my uncertainty, listlessness and yes, my whininess.
I am the one with the power to change my thoughts and my world.
I Will Remember
I wanted to pay tribute to Mr. Williams, and there were so many great movies and roles he played that made me laugh until I cried. And yet, I chose one that was ultimately a bit prophetic. In between his charm and exuberance, there was always a whisper of melancholy in the class clown.
O’ Captain, My Captain. You will be missed, but the laughter lives on.