Present Tense

The Funk….

tunnelThere are times when life carries you along as if you are royalty in a beautiful horse-drawn carriage. You climb in, wearing your beautiful royal robes and off you go. It’s magic. And then, there are the times when every minute of every hour of every day is a slog. It just happens.

Events conspire to bring that fancy carriage ride to a screeching halt. Death, disappointment, jobs, health, money, kids, relationships, hormones, mortality.

There is a tipping point where the tough stuff outweighs the good stuff and once you slide down, it’s very difficult to climb back up.

Several people have commented that I haven’t been writing much. That’s true. I haven’t felt as if I have anything to share. I have no words of wisdom or insight or encouragement. My carriage is broken and it has been for some time.

I feel like I’m in a partially self-imposed dungeon. My strategies for coping have been few and far between, even though I KNOW what I need to do, I just can’t quite seem to find a rhythm. Meditation, vigorous exercise, yoga, better diet, walking, reading; all have worked in the past. This time, I can’t seem to find a routine that sticks.

Since my dad died in April, 3 of my friends have lost their fathers. So much loss in such a short time brings one’s own mortality to the forefront. You start doing the math; only so many quality years left and really nobody knows how much time we have and personally, I’m feeling just a little panicky and terrified by that.

Logically, I know that spending this time brooding about it is a complete waste. Life goes by so quickly; we all think we have all the time in the world, particularly if you’re under 50. We don’t and it usually takes losing loved ones to really slam that home.

So, there you have it. I’m in right in the middle of a rather debilitating existential crisis. And rather than bore you with it, I’ve been silent and probably not a whole lot of fun to be around. My coping mechanisms suck and I’ve dug a deeper hole.

A dear friend of mine just turned 50 and she wasn’t looking forward to it. I told her that 50 brings a couple of reactions: “Holy shit, I’m 50…over half my life is over” or “Holy shit, I’m frickin’ 50…I no longer have to please everyone”. She has chosen to focus on the latter, while I’m completely mired in the former.

So, off I go. Hoping the planets begin to align my way and that I can shift back into kicking ass and taking names for my sunset years. Be well. Life is short.

July 13, 2014 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , ,


  1. Wishing you well and praying for peace. Sometimes when what we “know” to do is not working, it is time to try something we have not tried before. I am sitting in Denver, silently cheering you on.

    Comment by Susan Herr | July 13, 2014 | Reply

    • Susan
      Thank you. Right back atcha:)

      Comment by janelondon | July 13, 2014 | Reply

  2. OH my Jane. I thought I was alone. it’s worse for me since my Mom died 1 1/2 years ago, I stopped working out right then and now I just turned 60. I seem to spend more time thinking about where I will be in 10 years instead of enjoying the year I have, the day I have. What I am saying is you hit it on the head of the nail…. I need something.

    Comment by judy bygott | July 13, 2014 | Reply

    • I meant worse for me SINCE my Mom died, not worse for me then for you!!!

      Comment by judy bygott | July 13, 2014 | Reply

    • Judy
      I understand:) I wish you the best.

      Comment by janelondon | July 13, 2014 | Reply

  3. The planets have begun to align in your favor because you have started the healing, writing. Baby steps…. You can always call if you need to talk. (((HUGS)))

    Comment by Brooks Kelley | July 13, 2014 | Reply

    • Brooks,
      Thanks….going to visit some Rancho Fiasco pups next week. That will most certainly help alleviate a funk!

      Comment by janelondon | July 13, 2014 | Reply

  4. Jane,
    A dear friend of mine taught me something a while ago that has stuck with me and grounds me in trying times.. Not always, but many times. When I’m feeling brought down by an experience, I ask myself two things:
    1. What is something, anything!, I can be grateful for in this experience?
    2. (This is huge..) I’m not going to get “through” this experience, rather, what am I going to get “from” it?
    These nuggets have been so inspiring to me. Try it. See what happens.

    Comment by Laura | July 13, 2014 | Reply

    • Laura,
      Yes, the silver lining, yin/yang of life. I will sit down and contemplate those things. I promise. Thank you so much.

      Comment by janelondon | July 13, 2014 | Reply

  5. Very well said!! I have those same feelings, and I’m a lot older than you!!
    We all have to try and focus on today, and not worry about tomorrow, AND count our blessings…

    Comment by Marsha | July 13, 2014 | Reply

  6. Jane-

    I am completely with you on this one. I’ve always had a fear of dying. I’m a Christain, go to church regularly and pray. It’s not what’s waiting for me on the other side that worried me. It was that I wouldn’t be remembered here. But seven years ago (I was 37), it came to a head in the form of a full-on panic attack. I ended up being carted off in an ambulance in the middle of the night. Fun times! They wanted to put me on anti anxiety/antidepressants. I resisted, because I’m not depressed. Turns out, depression comes in many forms. Who knew? Mine presents as not wanting to go anywhere, do anything, see anyone. Because, really, what was the point? We are all going to die anyway, right? But when I was forced to out, be with people, go to work, you’d never know anything was wrong with me. But at night, I’d lay in bed, panic stricken, thinking I can’t live like this anymore. Not good thoughts to have.

    I finally talked to the doc, who told me I am NOT crazy or weak. It’s a chemical imbalance that isn’t going away on its own. I started taking the meds, and life is looking much better. My brain has settled down and my thoughts don’t run away from me anymore.

    Stay healthly, my friend. Stay safe. And do what YOU need to do to get out of this spiraling funk you’re in.

    Comment by shellybelly12 | July 13, 2014 | Reply

  7. I feel you, Jane! Been there for a couple years. How can we break it?! I’ve watched people just waiting… waiting for what? Waiting to die? I want to go kicking and screaming not waiting for it. There’s got to be a way to flip the switch. Let me know if you figure out how. And I’ll do the same.

    Comment by gina | July 13, 2014 | Reply

  8. It will end when it ends. The funk sucks but it is real and it leaves when it does. Grieving heals. Writing about grieving heals. You have many supporters and they will all be there in the funk and out of the funk. You are strong and will always be one of my more pragmatic muses.
    Guess I’m trying to say that your work is important in which ever form it takes. So much love and light to you my special one.

    Comment by talktraffic28 | July 13, 2014 | Reply

  9. As I sat next to my mother on my parents back porch swing in Battle Creek she was just talking to no one in particular, as people with dementia will do. She then, in a way that I cannot fully describe with words said “it all just goes so fast”. There was regret in her tone of voice and almost a exasperation that it had passed her by. She turned 80 a day later and we were together to celebrate my parents 60th anniversary. Time seems to speed up the older we get. Staying active and busy does not make it go slower, but it does give you time to think about it less. I guess in some ways I am glad that I went back to school so late. It gave me a goal and forces me to now work longer and spend more time thinking about what is coming next. You are very successful at many aspects of life Jane. You have made some life changing decisions and some have been made for you. Maybe getting things in order sometimes frees us up too much to think and brood about what life isn’t, and makes it hard to see what life really is. Get out there and walk those doggies and breath it all in. Good luck with finding that niche.

    Comment by Tim Lankerd, Ann Arbor, Mi. | July 13, 2014 | Reply

    • Thanks, Tim. I appreciate your words:)

      Comment by janelondon | July 16, 2014 | Reply

  10. I can completely empathize. I lost my dad suddenly over 3 years ago. It was 1 week to the day after I moved to Denver. I hit a wall an still have a hard time pulling myself up. Lack of close ones around me have not helped. BUT, I know this to be true…I am the strong woman he raised me to be & there are bad days but there are good days no matter what. You have a right to be in a funk & it will get better. Just ride the tide but do what you can and don’t beat yourself up. I’m pulling for you!!!

    Comment by Renae BK | July 13, 2014 | Reply

  11. I lost my Mom 2 1/2 weeks ago. I’m still in shock. My sisters and I are cleaning out her house getting it ready for sale. She was one of my best friends…nothing will replace what we shared. I knew this day would come, she was 92. Now both my parents are gone, less buffer between me and the end. I’m 53, bound and determined to live a full, active and healthy life…just like my Mom did. If I’m still golfing at 90 as she did, that’s icing on the cake.

    Comment by Lori W. | July 13, 2014 | Reply

  12. Jane, I listened to you and Dom religiously when we lived in CO. Less so since my life changed last year with a completely unexpected move to Minnesota, away from 24 years of friends, away from all 4 of our children, and the first grandchild. So I feel I know you a little and your pain. I lost my mother the same year that I lost both my maternal grandparents, adopted 2 children, moved (locally only), and my husband changed jobs. I was devastated, but able to find my way out. This move hasn’t been as easy, I didn’t want to go, and then, 2 days after closing on the new house, fell and broke my left leg badly. Moving in while spending months in a wheelchair and then in PT, has left me in a funk too. I find myself narrowing my world, not expanding it. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Sometimes we need that helping hand only a doctor or counselor can provide. It’s helping me actually look forward to turning sixty in Dec. I hope you find your answer, the world is a better place with you in it.

    Comment by Ellen DeVilbiss | July 14, 2014 | Reply

  13. Isn’t it just a pain in the arse when logically we know — know what it is what we should be doing and should be up to and should do this and should do that and somehow there’s this invisible whatever it is that holds us back? Maddening. Well here’s to big girl panties and figuring it out. Thanks for the read Jane, thanks for being totally relevant.

    Comment by lizzyc1973 | July 14, 2014 | Reply

  14. I also lost my dad on March 22nd of this year, and dealing with my mother in the wake of his death has proven to be another form of grieving. It’s hard to even organize my thoughts surrounding it all, but your honesty helps so much. Truly. Thank you, and I’ll be praying that you find your footing soon.

    Comment by Angie | July 14, 2014 | Reply

    • Angie:
      Exactly. The struggle I’m having right now is the pain my mother is experiencing and knowing that there is nothing I can to do take that away. I miss my dad, but her suffering is so much worse.

      Comment by janelondon | July 16, 2014 | Reply

  15. Jane, I wish there was some magic wand that could make everything right. Hope you find your peace. One day something will spark and you will be on your way. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Comment by Lorrie | July 14, 2014 | Reply

  16. OF course you are in a funk, Jane. Look back at the past few years of moving (across the country), losing loved ones (human and animal), leaving friends and co- workers, adjusting to a new environment, pace of life and hobbies. Remember the major, critical decisions that had to be made in order to accommodate those losses and changes.

    Whether you realize or not, you are not the same person that you were before those major changes so your old ‘fixes’ probably are not going to be as effective as they were in the past. Those fixes maintained the calm during the struggles and stress of daily life but the events that have occurred in your life during the past few years have been everything but ‘daily events’. Just like an exercise routine soon loses its effectiveness for weight loss, your coping mechanisms no longer provide needed relief as they too are now routine. Your brain most likely is still on overload and is trying to resolve a problem or overcome a new situation that doesn’t exist. The dust is beginning to settle while your mind and body are in overdrive. I’ll been through the hospitalization (multiple trips) and eventual death of three parents, selling 3 homes (in multiple time zones) and buying a new home over the past 2 1/2 years. It one point last month, I realized that I was so accustomed to having to make decisions, large and, that I was creating problems by butting into other people’s decision making when I had absolutely no business doing so. YIKES! Take time to breathe.

    I can’t say what the new ‘fix’ is or should be. I’m relating my current funk to the first time that I returned to my hometown after being away at school only to discover that the only thing that I had common with my high school friends was a high school graduation date. That isn’t to say that I no longer enjoy my past activities but I was doing them as the person that I was ‘back then’. Give yourself time to discover who you are now.

    My condolences. All the best.

    Comment by Kristi | July 16, 2014 | Reply

    • Kristi:
      Life is hard sometimes and anyone who says otherwise is a Buddha or a liar:) Thanks for the note…

      Comment by janelondon | July 16, 2014 | Reply

  17. So, here I am, reading all your blog posts. I know your topic was a serious nature, but I did chuckle…I am freaking out about turning 50. I even have a countdown on my phone.(944 days) But what really made me laugh, as freaked out as I am about turning 50, I’m really, really hoping I magically wake up in 944 days and live my life not caring if I’m doing it right by others standards anymore. Here’s to postive life changes, and the ugly stuff that spurs them!

    Comment by Molly | November 12, 2014 | Reply

    • Molly
      First off, you have 944 days until your enlightenment. That’s what you should be counting down to. If you haven’t read anything by Dr. Christiane Northrup, now is the time. She is your menopausal spirit guide:). 50 is great…eventually!
      Be well.

      Comment by janelondon | November 12, 2014 | Reply

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