Today I woke up in a funk. I was exhausted, both physically and mentally. The sun was streaming through my window, the birds were chirping merrily, I had a cup of tea delivered to me in bed; is there any better way to start a lazy Sunday? Yet all I felt like doing was drawing the curtains and going back to sleep. Only I was the kind of exhausted that made even sleep feel impossible. Restless and irritable, I was having an internal conversation that went something like this:
“Just get up Jess, it’s a beautiful day, you should be out there enjoying the sunshine and doing something fun.”
“Just stay in bed. You’re tired. When did you last have a sleep in? Aren’t you feeling rundown? What if you get sick? Stay in bed and rest.”
“Sick? I can’t get sick. Sick is not an option. No, I need to get up, I have things to do, I have a whole day ahead of me, I can’t possibly waste it asleep!”
“But I feel like shit. Everything hurts.”
“Fight the urge to be lazy! Get up and be productive! You’ll feel much better!”
You get my drift. And a slightly hysterical insight into my overactive mind, which, unfortunately expends a lot of energy at battle with itself over silly conundrums like this. To get up or not to get up? Why do I seemingly lack the gene to just roll over, go back to sleep and not worry about it? I can laugh at myself now, but at the time, I felt paralysed with indecision.
So I did what I usually do when I can’t be bothered confronting the real world, and I buried my nose in a book until my tea went cold and the birds got louder and it got to that time when I felt it really wasn’t acceptable to still be in my pajamas. And then, still feeling in a right funk about everything, I did what I usually do when I feel guilty for not doing anything; I started cleaning.
I opened all the curtains and windows in the house, put on some loud, upbeat music and set about scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom with a fervour, hoping this would somehow snap me out of my dark mood and back into my motivated, peppy self. Once everything was sparkling, I hung up some sheets in the sunshiney breeze and thought everything would come right once I had a nice, relaxing shower.
Only somehow after all that, I ended up buried under a mountain of blankets on the couch, feeling even gloomier than before – it didn’t help that the sky had turned an ominous grey and rain had started pissing down on my freshly washed sheets. Tom came home to find me lying on the couch in a cold house – with all of the windows and doors open – and drenched bedding on the line. I told him I was ‘airing the place out’, and promptly resumed sulking. Fortunately he had the sense to close some windows and make me another cup of tea.
I spent the rest of the afternoon alternating between feeling sorry for myself, telling myself off for feeling sorry for myself, and quietly marvelling at how nice it was to actually just sit on the couch and do nothing for an extended period of time. But mostly I was still feeling blue and out of sorts.
I’ve been riding a massive wave of adrenaline over the past few weeks. I’ve been quietly working on some ideas that will completely change the way I earn a living (watch this space – more to come on this later) and on Tuesday quite a few stars aligned to illuminate the way forward. It was awesome, but also exhausting – isn’t that often the way when you make a big decision? This morning, all of the momentum of the past few weeks seemed to collapse into a giant heap – I simply couldn’t move.
As with all big decisions, my new sense of direction has opened up more questions, and more challenges – good challenges, but challenges nonetheless. I have a lot to do, and although I can hear my mother’s voice telling me “I don’t need to see the whole staircase to take the first step,” this morning I woke up pissed off, in a right funk, because my feet kept tripping over themselves as I tried to climb.
It was only a few hours ago, when I picked up my pen and paper and started brainstorming a few ideas, that I felt the tension leave my body. That simple act – of writing some lists, jotting down some disjointed thoughts – helped me to relax in a way that no yoga class ever could. It was only then that I belatedly remembered what always helps me clamber out of the darkness: writing. I realised that picking up my pen should always be my first step; as soon as I do that, the rest of the staircase starts to reveal itself.
And here I am, 900 words lighter, the dark mood dissipating. It only took an entire day of sulking to get me to this point, but hey, at least the house is clean and it inspired a blog post. Hopefully next time I’ll remember to write my thoughts down on waking, so I can truly enjoy a lazy Sunday – guilt-free.