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.