So, it’s been a while, did you miss me? I missed me. Haven’t quite felt like myself for a while. There are times in life when so much is happening, yet nothing happens all at the same time. Like a bucket filled with water that spins madly, yet the water is not moving, or like travelling in an airplane, you’re flying yet you’re sitting still (unless you’re one of those aisle walkers). Lets not get into the physics of it all - yes the object is moving the same speed as the container, but the object doesn’t experience the same pressures as the container (unless disaster hits). This week, I have been both the bucket and the water at the same time.
“How can this be?” I hear you ask. Best I can describe it is there has been a lot of spin on the bucket. Returning to work; re-establishing home; preparing for family changes as the kids enter VCE (senior years at high school) and university; conference; annual planning; the list goes on and on. At the same time I kind of shut down. Not in an I won’t participate or perform kind of way. More like I wasn’t able to function. The body kept going through the motions; doing what was required; attending the right locations; saying the right things… But the mind was not there for the journey. That’s not to say I was spouting unintelligible gibberish (well no more than usual anyway), but my mind was not where it should have been. It was instead, in a funk all it’s own.
Most people will have some idea of the feeling. A bad case of the sads or rocking the blues, for some its a visit from the black dog or a headspace issue. This has been building for a while, months even, but last week it struck, hard. Knocked out of action for 4 days solid (thank God for weekends and public holidays), yesterday was better. Yesterday I was able to force myself to start being normal again - yes, I am aware that normal is a relative term, lets just assume that I mean normal for me. The NGV did a terrific job pointing me back in the right direction, may have been the appeal to my creative side in taking photos again, may have been the Andy Warhol / Ai Weiwei exhibition. Today was a difficult day at work, and after an intense 3 hour meeting it took me 2 hours to start being productive, but I did it. Because, I chose to.
I choose to smile and keep going. I choose to understand when I need down time and respect that that’s OK. I choose to accept that this is part of me and that the people that can’t accept it, or me are free to move on. If this is you, don’t worry, I understand your choice and choose to not let your choices affect me. I choose to be happy even when I am sad and this, although at times can be extremely difficult, helps me through. I choose for this to not be a problem. How? I’m glad you asked (who else misses The Curiosity Show?)
The best advice I received was to understand that this is not me, this is something that happens to me - like a cold, or the flu. It is with me for a short period of time and it goes. It is the train approaching as I wait on the platform. It approaches, and I am affected by it, It pulls into the station and affects my hearing with it’s noise and announcements, it blocks my vision and changes the view. The train seems all encompassing and sometimes it is in the station briefly, other times it stays longer, but eventually, it leaves. I choose to not board the train, I choose to not take that journey. Instead I watch as it departs, heading off into the distance and life returns to normal.