I've been in a bit of a funk lately, I must admit. And I don't mean I've been playing Kool and the Gang on repeat, dressing in bell bottoms and wearing lots of gold chains. I mean that I've been in a rut.
People get into funks for all sorts of reasons...they're feeling tired of the same old routine, they don't like daylight savings time, they're bored with their husbands, they're stressed at work, they're, oh, I don't know...unemployed.
Here are a few of the things I have done that you might want to do to make my escape from the recent pity party that I threw for myself:
1. Throw yourself a pity party. Sometimes you just have to give in to the funk, for a short period of time. When/if you have time, make yourself a nice cuppa Tetley and a nice piece of toast with lots of butter and/or jam, plunk your fat arse down on the couch and watch a few episodes of Downton Abbey (some pseudo-SPOILERS may follow). When you see these lords and ladies deal with World War I and Spanish Flu and being left to raise their babies alone (not mentioning any names) – you'll realize, Jeez, at least I didn't just accidentally kill my lover by sleeping with him, that would REALLY suck!.
2. Determine which music you're in the mood for, and play said music on your boom box. Right now I'm listening to Leonard Cohen sing Hallelujiah. That man's sexy, gravely voice always makes me feel so safe. Other times I just love a good ABBA record. Heck, yesterday I surprised myself when R. Kelly's Ignition came on my Songza College Residence Party mix. I mean, I was really feelin' it, the music was totally carrying me. Not my usual taste in tunes, but I suddenly, mysteriously found myself practicing my badass sexy gangster dude moves – throwing my hands in front of me in an, "East Side, yo!" type of position and doing that bounce/head nod thing they always do. I was in a state of suspended disbelief at the perceived awesomeness of my sweet moves. My body was suddenly inhabited by R. Kelly himself - his infectious music taking control of my body and turning me into a different person. I felt like Catherine O'Hara in Beetlejuice, in the scene where her body is taken over by the charismatic ghost (played by Michael Keaton) and made to dance to Harry Belafonte's hit, "Day-O" (also known as The Banana Boat song). It's perhaps the greatest spontaneous dancing movie scene ever. Which leads me to my next suggestion...
3. Google, “Best movie dance scenes” and then watch a few of those movies. I often equate these movies with 80s movies, many of which are delightfully mindless and will left even the crustiest curmudgeon's spirits. Not so. While there are lots of 80s movies with fantastic spontaneous dance scenes - Ferris Bueller's Day Off,Risky Business, The Breakfast Club - to name a few. But it turns out there are some fantastical spontaneous dance scenes in films from later decades. Some of these include: The 40-year-old Virgin, Little Miss Sunshine,Pulp Fiction...oh man, this is getting me so pumped I'm gonna have to elaborate on this list in another post in the very near future. Stay tuned.
4. Do something you love to do. For me, it's writing this blog. For you, it might be cooking, baking, gardening, having sexual intercourse, cleaning your house, arranging flowers, knitting. Whatever is your habitual joy, go and get absorbed in it for an hour.
5. Get lost in a book. Whether it's a sweeping, fictional account of a complicated family or a secret garden, a dirty story of sex and murder, a nonfiction book that focuses on some aspect of your profession, curl up under a comfy throw, pick up whatever tickles your fancy and suits your mood, and just get lost in another world.
6. Get in the tub and browse Twitter until you shrivel like the prunes your nan used to tell you were good for making you go to the bathroom. One thing social media is great for is turning your mind into a blank slate, if that's what you want. It can also switch your brain on and make you think, if you want it to. It all depends on which links you click. There could be a scholarly, exploratory essay on Mayor Rob Ford's slovenly drug-smoking, or a little blurb on Drew Barrymore's latest pregnancy. You can choose to enrich your mind, or empty it, but either way, your mind is not focusing on whatever is stressing you out.
7. Buy a little something for yourself. Now, don't go all bonkers like those deplorable Confessions of a Shopaholic series of embarrassing chick books (seriously, how did this woman get away with writing like, five of essentially the same books? And how can one main character be so dumb and still be likeable?). This is especially true if your current issue is unemployment. I'm talking about a manicure or facial or maybe drop in and see what tops they got on sale at Smart Set. Nothing wrong with a little (repeat, a little) retail therapy.
8. Hang out with some wicked girlfriends. Give yourself a reason to wear that new top! If you're anything like me, you're more liable to dress up for your girlfriends than any man. Now, before you men get your pee hot, hear me out: We're just a lot more likely to receive appreciation from our lady friends, I'm sorry to say. They appreciate the work and planning that goes into a fierce outfit. Guys don't give a fluff about anything women wear. They'd rather you be brazen-arsed nakid. So anyway. Drinking wine and lots of it, having most excellent conversations that connect you with others of your kind and make you realize that you're normal, will revamp your spirit. Case-in-point: I hung out with some deadly friends this past weekend and guess what...two of them ended up going home and banging their husbands afterwards! You know who you are, ya saucy minxes. So guys, you really should be encouraging us to get together all the time. I've always believed that the Lorena Bobbitts and Brynn Hartmans of the world didn't have a solid group of girlfriends to whom they could vent. If it weren't for girlfriends, we'd all end up murdering our significant others at some point. Either that, or we'd "accidentally" end up shooting them in the woods while hunting together, or we'd just lop off their penis. So fellas - there's also that reason for wanting us to hang with our girlfriends.
9. Drank wine, and lots of it. Even if it's not with a group of girlfriends, my God, there's nothing like that red wine glow, is there? After a stressful day, that first sip trickles down through your veins and warms up your whole body. Your cheeks get all rosy and you feel like someone has wrapped you in an electric blanket and is hugging you all night long. Maybe this deep infatuation with an alcoholic beverage is known as appreciation for fine wine, maybe it's alcoholism – I'm not sure. But red wine is my personal poison and saviour. Yours might be a giant glass of vodka, a dirty rum and coke, a Wildberry Cooler, a Pepsi, I don't know. But whatever it is, treat yourself every once in a while!
10. Make some comfort food. Whip up a nice, cheesy batch of Mac n' Cheese or a big old meatloaf (don't forget the ketchup), and jam it down your gob.
11. Work. Out. Because of number five, you'll need to counter-balance any feelings of shame you may have for eating not one but three bowls of the above by having a sweaty old workout. Work out your anger and frustration, go savage, yell right back at that butchy woman who teaches Boot Camp, and then go home and drink your protein shake (it will allow you to sit on the toilet and walk up and down the stairs in less-excrutiating pain). After that, get a shower and put on your jogging pants, and sit down and eat another bowl of Mac n' Cheese.
12. Do a yoga class. I promise, you'll feel cleansed and relaxed afterwards. I've had some fantastic experiences at Nova Yoga on Long's Hill, and I hear good things about Moksha on Duckworth Street – who have a class on Friday evenings that's only five bucks.
13. Snuggle your baby or puppy. If you're lucky enough to have either one of these critters in your life, give them a snuggle, play with them, or just watch them roll around on the floor. It will put a smile on your face. What problems do they have? None, for God sakes. They have someone to prepare all of their meals, do all their laundry, carry them around whenever they don't feel like walking, and even wipe their arses. They don't have to work or worry about money or gaining weight or improving their relationships. No wonder they don't have wrinkles and are always smiling! Their carefree-ness and just darn cuteness will lift your spirits.
So there you have it. My favourite ways to board the plane out of Funkville.
Of course, there are some things you just shouldn't do.
- Ordering a mail-order bride or groom.
- Mindlessly consuming the 30 mini boxes of Smarties that were left over from Halloween.
- Murdering someone.
- Robbing a bank.
- Unnecessarily giving the middle finger to another driver.
In the words of a brilliant Will Ferrell character soon to return to a theatre near you, "Stay classy, San Diego."
And have fun getting de-funkified!