I am in a funk, truth is I have been in a funk for a while. I don’t think it’s see a therapist or pop a pill type funk, I have been there too and this doesn’t quite feel like that type of funk. No, in some ways this funk is due to being a victim of my own success professionally.
Two years ago I took the position of chief executive also known as the Executive Director of a very small non-profit that was struggling financially. It was a good program but for years had individuals who were great at the programming but by their own admission not great with finding the money to keep the doors open. So when I came on board we were in a tenuous position of needing money so that we could get financially stable. Turns out I am actually pretty good at getting money, in fact almost too good.
Anyone who works in the non-profit sector knows that foundations by and large like to fund programs, they also like programs that reach many folks. So I did just that, I restructured our programs so that they reached more folks, I used my writing chops to secure better grant funding and my speaking skills to get individual donors to dig a little deeper to give money. The results are that I now have a salary that is no longer below average for the area and we went from only having one official paid staff member to four and I am wiped out.
See, this job was only supposed to be part-time but to make all this happen, I have given more and more of myself and like the tree in Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, I have no more to give at least with not seriously jeopardizing my own mental health. One of the reasons I only wanted a part-time job was so that I could devote time to things that nourish my soul. It’s been months since I last went to a yoga class, my nails are in terrible state and I have a unibrow forming because lately there is never enough time to schedule appointments or make commitments to things like self care.
Every morning I wake up visualizing a day where I will do what I need to do to be well and every night I go to bed disgusted with myself that none of those things have happened. Instead I can’t tell you the last time I took care of me and stress has me engaging in behaviors that are frankly no good long term. I think one of the reasons I spend so much time goofing around on sites like Twitter while I am working is because it does bring a little joy in my life. Yet too much time and it takes me away from the things that are really important to me.
Change. I need to make changes. Yet I am stuck, my job is eating me alive and I feel like every day a little piece of me dies off. Change. I need it to happen soon before I blow my stack. Change. I am tired of Mama guilt, tired of feeling like I am not the best mother I can be to my kids because I am too tired to engage in a meaningful way.
Autumn is often a time where I fall into a natural funk that I never seem to break through until January when the days start getting a tad longer and the winter sun shines so bright on the white snow that you can’t help but smile. I need to smile sooner than January, hell I need to smile like yesterday.
So dear readers what do you to make changes in your life when you feel stuck in quicksand yet you know you need changes. Do you take baby steps or do you just wake up one morning, throw the covers off the bed and say fuck it, today I am making a change.
3 thoughts on “Change…how to make it happen”
Girl I say fuck it all! Now keep in mind that it sometimes tend to bite me in that ass due to pisspoor planning. When I told ex I wanted a divorce, I should’ve planned better. lol But I felt so relieved after I did it. And you seem to plan well. However, right now I am stuck here in this crazy time in my life and I’m not quite what I want to do. But I do know that I am going to do all the things that I want to do. For example, while I am unemployed I am going to become a foster parent. I have to time to devote to it now without having rush home from work and trying to divide myself between so many things. The older I get the more I want to find my bliss in every facet of my life. I no longer want to look back and wish I could’ve done something else. If the foster parenting doesn’t work out, it doesn’t but I has been something I have always wanted to do so I’m gonna do it!
Let’s see..first I stop telling myself that I am STUCK. I began to look into how to get out. That means reviewing my skill sets and looking at other careers that they may fit or looking higher up the ladder in my field to see where I could move up to. Next I take time for ME. That means remembering that I am not superwoman nor am I God and I. take. a. break. without guilt. Schedule in a half day or two – or heck take an entire day – for self care and rest without baby girl at the least once a month. The next thing to do is to create a plan of action. In other words, the economy says sucky right now, so I look for groups to join so that I can network a bit – having as much fun as possible. Bump a conference where I have to sit for hours and listen to someone drone on about blah blah, I would rather gather at the local sushi bar, coffee house etc. when the group gets together to chat with like minded people- even if it is just for an hour. I also take a walk or do some kind of exercise just to clear my head. I also meditate, pray and talk to God a lot. Listen to music you love and dance with absolute abandon. Get a bottle of wine and drink a glass or two on a cool evening after the world has slowed down – do the same. For me it is the little things that get me moving on. The big step stuff just feels like way to dang much to me when I am going through and I figure that you are probably overwhelmed as is so try these small steps.
I find I can only do the ‘fuck it’ when a change is overdue, massive, and vastly preferable to an old situation. It’s scary but satisfying, but most changes I need to make are far more incremental.
For the incremental changes that are hard to maintain, I tend to favor changing one thing, and keeping it up religiously for a few months until it becomes a habit. Too many little changes, and it’s too easy to lose them all, but too small or infrequent of a change, and nothing feels different.
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