While meeting with my trainer yesterday, she asked a question I've been asked by someone each time I leave a funk, but I've never thought to ask myself.
"What turned it around?"
This is such a vital question. The first time I was asked, I thought back on earlier this year. I'd signed up for a 5K that I couldn't run. I'd signed up with a friend. I wasn't going to quit, but I was really not feeling good about the outcome of things. As my friend continued her C25K program, I started packing my bag each night to make it to the gym the next morning. I couldn't keep up in the program, but I could choose to not give up on my bigger goal. I knew that getting to the gym was part of that.
So every evening I made sure my gym bag was packed. more often than not, I got up the next morning and went to the gym. Eventually I left the funk behind. I remember being so dark and I remember thinking I couldn't do any of this. but I shoved it away and kept moving and then I just felt better. The first time I was asked that question I blamed my friend, or maybe my friend keeping tabs on me, for pulling me through.
This time? What turned it around? As I tried to come up with an answer, a summary of the last month tumbled out of me. My foot pushed me out of the gym. I spent two full days off schedule working on a service project. My kids got sick. We demolished part of our yard. I was tired. I got new shoes. My feet started feeling better. The project was successful. My kids got better. The yard got finished. I was still tired.
I told myself at the beginning of July to go back to the gym. And I listened to me. I wasn't getting any less tired. There wasn't going to be any less life happening in the near future (for which I am thankful). I was tired before I stopped going to the gym. Enough was enough. I needed to get started again. And I did.
But I can't say what turned it around. Just like I can't say what exactly turned it around last time. As an engineer, I want to dissect my actions and thoughts and find the trigger so I can pull it again next time I get in a funk. I want the funk to end because my schedule says it is time to end, damn it! I want to feel better all the time and stop spending energy and effort on being down.
The rest of me laughs. The engineer is humored so much of the time, allowed to schedule and manipulate, refine and control. But sometimes it isn't going to get a say. The rest of me needs time and space as well. If the rest of me is dark, then I'm dark. If I'm down, then meetings will be moved and schedules rearranged. Funks are going to happen. I am not going to be able to schedule them for convenient times. I am not a machine in need of fixing. Maybe I simply need to be a little more careful to not treat myself like I'm broken.