talking about the funk

I have been terribly quiet on this space. And when I visit this site, I often find myself feeling bad at my lack of discipline. I definitely need to work on being more disciplined, that is for sure.

It’s not that I don’t have the thoughts though. There is a lot of reflection happening, critical and personal. And there are a lot of ideas that need expanding and exploring that I think critical writing can enable. So why then do words sometimes feel so tiresome?

I have been in a funk.

Since coming back from the Brisbane season of Saltwater, I thought I should catch on the momentum that I had gathered, and decided to start working on the next things. Of course, I found myself stuck; words were tiresome. I couldn’t write the proposal I have been planning to write, and I couldn’t write the reflections I have been planning to write. I just couldn’t put the words in my mind down onto paper.

Somewhere in amongst the beginning of this funk, I had a really good meeting with Esther Anatolitis to talk through some of my ideas around Facilitation, and it went fantastically! So inspiring and so exciting, and I felt so incredibly supported and encouraged. But I got home and I was still stuck.

Of course, at this point I hadn’t clocked it that I was in a funk. And of course by this point, I was also beginning to binge-watch the early seasons of Downton Abbey, sleeping in, and staring blankly at my computer and/or notebook. But then I remembered something that Esther had said, “facilitate yourself.”

On one of those sleep-in mornings, I laid in bed and asked myself a series of questions which included the very simple, “how are you doing exactly, Jamie?” Interestingly Esther recently blogged about similar questions here. And after a session with my art therapist, recognised the funk.

By the end of both seasons of Saltwater, I would have had been driving the project for 2 years now. I think I did fairly well in pacing myself through the whole process – working very calmly, efficiently, and economically – but 2 years is still a long time. And while there was Ling, and subsequently the team working on the different parts, I was the main driver, and I birthed a thing. The self-discipline and the self-motivation to keep going; the constant thinking ahead whilst solving what’s in front of you; the leadership and the (self-)facilitation – in this last 2 months, the thought of exercising another ounce of Self made me want to throw up!

So there. I was deep in this funk.

And it made sense. The new ideas and the new potential projects are going to be longer-term ones – another 2-3 years (like my masters) or more even! In the last year, I had begun mulling over things that are about sustainable practice! I have repeatedly talked about how I was in this for the long haul! Self-discipline, motivation, facilitating myself – all of that was going to be at the core of pretty much everything I (will) do – and mostly so because that is indeed how I am wired and do work well.

Except when it is time to rest.

And rest I did. I finished all 6 seasons of Downton Abbey. I’ve started playing with water colours just because. I’ve been buying flowers and arranging them in the house. I’m reading leisurely again. I’ve indulged in fancy home-made cocktails. I’ve joined the husband in his new hobby of bird-watching! I’ve slept in. I’ve cooked some good food.

And when I started becoming social again in the last 2 weeks, I’ve also taken to admitting that I’ve been in a funk, and that I was beginning to crawl out of it – which has only been met by more support and encouragement. And that always helps!

And as I begin to sit not so blankly in front of my computer these days, I am conscious to pace myself. My goals are mine to set, and the deadlines are determined by me. Ambitious and passionate as I am, I remember that I am in this for the long-haul, and I want to make good work.

Someone I recently met described me as considered. I’d like to continue to be that.

What does your funks look like? How long do they last? What are some of your strategies when your funk arrives?



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