I was thinking about Nana this morning. She was so self-possessed; she really knew herself, was comfortable in her own skin, made decisions and stuck with them because she knew her truth. She wasn’t wishy-washy and limp-noodle-y like I am. I aspire to be the kind of woman Nana was–mature, honest, right with herself.
Lately I’ve been in a funk (of my own making; nobody to blame but myself), and frankly I’m sick of trying to turn my frown upside down. Another beautifully self-possessed woman I know, Amy Gross, my former editor in chief at O, the Oprah Magazine, had a saying: “Fix it or forget it.” I’m in the process of fixing what’s ailing me, but it takes time. And in that time, I need to be honest with myself. I’m not in a great mood, and I may not be for the next week or so.
I’m not taking it out on The Hubbins–he works too long and hard during the day to come home to a wife who has the corners of her mouth turned down all hag-like. Any cheer I can muster is channelled into the hours that The Hubbins is home and awake. He’ll come home to a smiling wife, chicken fajitas for dinner (thank you again, Jamie Oliver and your amazing Food Revolution cookbook), and we can watch whatever he wants to watch on TV.
But during the day, I have to be honest with myself: I’m feeling “feh,” and I want to own my “feh” mood. I’m just going to feel my “feh” so it can work its way through my system like a bug, and then I won’t explode five years from now. I heart giving myself permission to do this, and here’s how I’m doing it:
9 Tips for Owning Your “Feh” Mood
Caveat: For those of you who wish to get out of an icky, “off,” funky mood, please pick up any women’s magazine for suggestions. This article is intended strictly as a guide for your care and maintenance while you go through a funk.
1. First, assess. Is this, in fact, a “feh” period, or is it something more serious? Use my handy “5, 5, or 5” guide, which is not recommended by any medical association: If you’ve been feeling kind of low for about five hours or five days, this is just a funk. If it’s been going on for five years or more, this is likely not a funk but a serious depression for which you should seek professional help.
2. Stay comfortable. Once you’ve ascertained that this is, in fact, a mere funk, there is no need to progress from pajamas to street clothes.
3. To shower or not to shower? The funk-afflicted can find getting clean to be a Herculean effort. When pondering whether you have the strength to do this, ask yourself: Do I live with someone I love and whom I want to continue loving me? If the answer is yes, shower. If you live alone but wish not to add to your list of things that are funking you out, perhaps you should consider making the effort anyway. Feeling bad is one thing; smelling bad is worse.
4. Be honest. When people ask how you’re doing, tell them: “Feh.” There’s no need to lie and say “Fine!” when you know very well that you’re not fine. You own that funk, honey.
5. Eat. There’s no point in being down and hungry. Put something in your belly, and make it something nice. Try to stay away from too much sugar, though; that’ll just bring on The Blues, which is the next stage down from Feh.
6. Funky loves company. Invite a friend in a similarly “feh” emotional state over to watch reality TV, so you can watch miserable people together. Perhaps you can watch The Biggest Loser while sharing a large vegetable pizza. That way, you can congratulate yourselves on making the first steps toward positivity by eating your veggies.
7. I’m sorry, but being in a funk myself right now, I’ve run out of steam and tips. I hope your funk is meaningful and brief (see tip #1).