Journal Entry March 11, 2010: Coinage = $.91, 51 pennies, 2 nickels, 3 dimes; Glass bottles retrieve = 4; Ground scores = 6.
Journal Entry March 13: Weight = 171.0 Lbs. (water loss from hard gardening project, not real fat loss); Coinage = $1.37, 52 pennies, 4 nickels, 4 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 12 (yuk!); Ground scores = 2.
Feature Entry: Walking and Being in a Funk
Yesterday, the MoneyWalker did not take a walk. He was in a funk. It wasn’t his back or his ankle, or even his tooth extraction from two days ago. It wasn’t the national political backbiting or the rampant corruption of our local politicians; nor was it caused by a fight with Ms. MoneyWalker. It wasn’t from going off of antidepressants because he doesn’t take them or any other medication. It wasn’t from playing too many games of FreeCell or Solitary even though I spend far too much time with these mindless time wasters.
It was from being scolded by a window warden at the local Burger King. The guy came from inside and screamed at me in the parking lot. O.K, O.K…. I get it, you want the pitiful dribble of dropped change. Who wants to “damage” others with your own behavior? It made me feel corrupt.
Suddenly, I didn’t want to walk anymore, and scrunching around for street pennies made no sense. It had lost its motivation. And blogging, who needs it or worse, who reads it? Tireless searches for inspiration and novelty and relevance of message just didn’t seem worthwhile. And I didn’t weight or eat a healthy breakfast either; and I pigged out for three evening meals in a row with each featuring a big helping of desert.
In her blog the Happiness Project, author Gretchen Rubin talks about the “arrival fallacy,” the belief that when you arrive at a certain destination, you’ll be happy. Well I’m a very successful at finding money while walking and conversely maintaining an enviable waist line in the process. Then why am I in a funk. I told Ms. MoneyWalker about my woes and she said that she was in a funk herself. What? Ms. MoneyWalker in a funk? Can’t be!
I blogged for information on the depression that we call a funk. I found the rantings of Dr. Virago and how she felt after gaining tenure at a Midwestern university. Quoting Dr. Virago: “I have no enthusiasm for anything I do right now, whether research, teaching, service, or blogging. I keep putting things off and then feeling them hang over my head. And what do I do instead? I Facebook. Why? Some might say it's for the instant gratification, and they're probably right. But it's also for the sheer mindless, time-wasting, numbness-inducing state it puts me in. Time slips away effortlessly when I piddle around on FB.”
She goes on about how she berates herself and then goes on a work tear without real accomplishment or satisfaction. She works to punish herself. And then she stopped running and promptly gained 20 pounds as a result. Moreover, her funk has lasted most of the semester, a really long time. She explains that after the push to gain tenure, a major goal, her post tenure goals are less clear—a sense of deflation, a sense of staleness sets in. She finished by saying that it will “take every atom of will power in my body to make it through the semester.”
This is not my first funk nor will it be the last. Jeff Bridges in his acceptance speech was euphoric, but he said that life is like bowling, it is a mixture of strikes and gutter balls.
Another Google found the writing of Joy1 with the title “Throwing Depression to the Curb.” Here is the way Joy moves past being in a funk:
1. One is I start to PRAISE the LORD as much as I can including the singing of praise music
2. Treat myself with some kindness such as taking a nap or getting her nails done, or picking up an iced coffee, or taking some extra time to read a book.
3. Do something physical such cleaning a closet or going for a bike ride, or walk just to get the endorphins moving.
So what did the MoneyWalker do to begin the process of breaking out of his funk? First, I begin weighing again and this morning I took a long money searching walk. Then, I took on the front garden by totally reworking the ground cover. My back is sore, but I can already feeling the funk slipping away.