Help!! I’m in a rut.

In a rut.  Going in circles.  If there’s a difference, it eludes me.  Either way it’s uncomfortable.  I checked out all my I-can-help-you sources and discovered that they all say the same thing and it doesn’t really matter what your problem is .  Granted, they don’t use exactly the same words but the meaning is the same so I’m left to pick the one that speaks the language I best understand and tackle the job.  Time’s a-wasting.  And so, with my tongue in my cheek, let’s get started:

1.  Focus on the present.  Now why would I want to do that?  My present is in a rut.  If I look back I can get angry.  When I look forward I get scared.  So let’s see now, would anger or fear help more?  I’m thinking anger works better for me.  No, maybe fear–fear that I’ll be in this rut forever.  Come to think of it I am pretty comfortable down here.

2.  Spend time with fun, energetic people.  Are you kidding me?  What fun-loving person wants to hang out with a down-in-the-dumps whiner?  Won’t I just bring them down to my level?  No, wait, their fun and good times will pull me up.  So…I will have to pretend I’m happy to get their attention and then they will let me hang out with them.  Hmmm.

3.  Set goals or challenges.  I think the theory here is that if you don’t give yourself a challenge, you will do whatever you do in a sorta half-a$$ed way.  Day in and day out just getting along, not accomplishing much.  That leaves me to wonder if I’m in a rut because I didn’t set clear goals or did I not set goals because I was in a rut and couldn’t make myself do it?  Shall we continue?

4.  Do without some everyday things.  This one makes me giggle.  I’m thinking I can go without my bra like I did back in the 70s.  Bras are everyday things, but alas, I think the idea here is to do without something that will make you change your pattern/schedule.  Maybe like not turning the TV on when you usually do, so that you’re forced to do something different or more productive.  I guess that means the bra-less notion is not so good.  That would cause me to stay home and hibernate or isolate more than I already do.  Bad idea.

5.  Do something for someone else.  I interpret this to mean volunteer or help a neighbor.  I have to approach this one cautiously.  Why?  Because I have, in the past, volunteered myself right into that volunteer rut.  Hey!  I never thought of this before but maybe I’m a little OCD.  How else does one get in a rut volunteering?  I must keep moderation and balance in mind.  If not, I’ll forget to take care of myself.  This is harder than I thought.

6.  Look at things or people from a different perspective.  I think this means that when I think about my situation and how I’ve been treated, I’m supposed to have more patience and tolerance for the other side of it and recognize that maybe D did what he thought he had to do to save himself.  I’m biting my tongue here.  See how nice I can be.

7.  Learn a new skill.  I get credit here.  Every Sunday morning I walk in the church as if I know what I’m doing (I seriously don’t.) and I sit down at the computer and I proceed to try to keep track of which song, which verse, which prayer, etc. should be on the screen at any given time.  Talk about a challenge for a brain that is accustomed to flitting from topic to topic like a monarch butterfly on milkweed.  I am learning to focus for an hour plus once a week.  How impressive is that!  And I’m doing it all in Spanish.

8.  Don’t keep listening to your own thoughts.  I don’t know about you but for me that’s an exercise in futility.  I am very repetitive, especially about negative things from the past that I can’t change.  I can beat the hell out of that dead dog and then revive him and beat him some more.  Even though I know it’s a waste of time, I still find myself slipping backward and making the rut deeper.  Duh!

9.  Don’t complain.  Quicherbellyachin.  Don’t whine.  Nobody wants to hear it.  NOBODY.  The right to whine has expired.  I’m trying to remember that.

10.  Look for humor in the mundane.  Humor is the greatest healer I know of and I try never to forget that.  I get an A+ for this one.  It has been my saving grace.

Feel free to adapt these suggestions to suit your situation.  Pick and choose.  Take what you like and leave the rest.  Life is good.  Smile.


16 thoughts on “Help!! I’m in a rut.

  1. Thanks, S. My rut comes and goes. I know that’s true for all of us. It’s just life. I started feeling better right after I wrote that post. My ground is pretty level today. Hope yours is too. 🙂


  2. Pat, I think if I had to pick only one to follow it would have to be number 10. If your life is anything like mine, and I would never assume it to be.. but if it were, finding humor in the mundane would have me busting my stitches most of the time.
    Of course given that, you always have to be on the look out for the guys in the white truck trying to fit you with the over sized white coat. Maybe if we keep our jocularity to a pleasant smile we can fool them all. No one will ever no. Take care, AJ


  3. Hi, Surrey gal,
    Thanks for stopping by. Focusing on the present is particularly hard for me, too. Despite the fact that I made a joke about it, I am trying very hard to remember that the present is all I’ve got.


  4. The beach house is almost always open. Even if I’m in Charlotte you can come down here and at least have a change of scene. Now that summer is ending, the wind is frequently blowing and even when we have high temps it isn’t unbearable to sit on the porch and read. On top of that the AC really works so you can stay cool inside.

    Love ya!


  5. This is all very good advice! Some of the things are easier said than done, like focus on the present… but I think I will use some of the other ones, maybe I’ll start looking for humour around me 🙂


  6. meditation mama. meditation. and it takes a good while before you are able to shut out all the stories/talk/memories. let’s make you a prayer/meditation area. or a whole room. you got enough rooms in that house to do it. if you get good at it you will pass TONS of time and will feel all glowy when you are done. seriously. you should try it.


  7. OK as one rut-hugger to another, one chilean mine dweller to another what I’ll suggest is this:

    1) Work on your values – really work on them. Don’t collapse into that curled up in bed position with the covers over your head!! Which is what I did for weeks! Even though the task seems more horrifying, confusing and impossible than anything. Find your top values – at least 10 – and put them in order and find out why the order matters.

    2) Become your own best friend AND your own Coach. Do this by putting 3 chairs in a circle. Sit down in one and be you. Say out loud how you feel – cry – shout – whatever. Now change chairs and in the 2nd chair be your own best friend. Talk to Chair One. Decide what your best friend would say to you about how you feel and what you might consider doing. Now change chairs again and in this 3rd chair be your own Life Coach (a slightly more detached approach needed here) and talk to chair One again with advice, Goals, etc.

    Hope this helps. I find it helps me.

    If I think of any more of the gems Stephen has imparted (he must have imparted many more – blimey I’ve been going for long enough!!) I’ll let you know and pass them on!!

    In the meantime mass of Hugs

    PS I still think you’re doing brilliantly – and we’re all entitled to down days – glad you felt you could write about them.


    • Thank you, Caroline. As I mention above I’m better today–the grandchild cure. 🙂 And I have two more coming in on Thursday so this week will be okay. After that, I swear I’m going to take another look at the massive values list. I’m not sure I’m up to role-playing with myself just yet, though. Maybe after I give the values a go.

      I do very much appreciate your taking the time to write all this up for me. You’re obviously a very caring person. And it is a good way to get more for the money you’ve spent on your LC. LOL. Thanks again for your encouraging words. xo


  8. I enjoyed the list and I enjoyed your coments more. You are a tough person so a bit of cheery whining won’t do you any harm. Looking for humour in the mundane works for me, at least when I’m doing the washing up


  9. Oh I can totally identify with this post… Every now and then, I get stuck in a rut of anger and sadness, and receiving the kind of advice you so deftly summarised here only manages to make me feel more inedequate for not being able to carry them through, and makes me angry because when I feel pants, I need compassion, not advice.
    Hope you find your own way to break free from the circle. Meanwhile just know that we understand!


    • Thanks, Lady E. It is good to know someone else understands. It makes the burden seem lighter. I’ll be cruising along doing fine and suddenly the negative thoughts hit me out of the blue and throw me for a loop. I’m happy to say I had a better day today. Maybe because I had a thirteen-year-old granddaughter with me.


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