I was lazy last weekend.
I didn’t plan to be and I didn’t schedule for it. In fact, I had every intention of getting a bunch of things done and I also arranged to meet some friends at an anniversary party. But when the weekend arrived, I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere.
“You’ve been working too hard,” my husband said. “You’ve burned yourself out.”
It’s true. I have. I’ve also been under a tremendous amount of pressure professionally and personally. All I wanted to do was lay low and recoup.
I watched television, read magazines, and ate too much junk food. I also slept. Much more than usual.
Aside from the bad eating, my reaction to the stress wasn’t typical and I felt like I should be doing things differently. Maybe talking things out, or writing things out, or at least sweating them out in the gym. But I didn’t do any of that.
Once the weekend ended, I woke up with the realization that I was right on deadline: I had to write this column immediately.
It wasn’t Monday morning like it seemed. Since it had been a long weekend, it was actually Tuesday. I felt like I’d lost a day in my negative haze.
There would be no more laying on the couch watching other people’s work or lying on the bed reading about other people’s lives. I would have to sit in an upright position at my desk and try to conjure up something interesting to write about in my completely uninterested state of being.
Yet again I was reminded of why having a back-up story or two is a great idea. I also recalled something that my former boss brought up when I first proposed this “On a Brighter Note” column almost five years ago.
“Won’t you run out of positive things to write about?” he had asked. I felt like calling him and answering: “Yes, yes I will.”
At the time, that seemed impossible. After his unconvinced response to my idea, I sat down with a coffee and easily came up with over one hundred future topic ideas just like that. But a funny thing happens when you’re living life and you go into a self-induced shut-down mode: your freedom to express yourself can all of a sudden feel less than free. And your eagerness to look for the silver lining in every experience can occasionally dissipate.
But that’s the ebb and flow of life. Some days we’re happy and we feel like we’re walking on air. Other days we’re glum and feel weighed down by stress and strain.
Yes, attitude can play a major part in us shaking off dark feelings when they arise, and usually I’ll do whatever it takes to cast them aside and get on with life. This time, though, I decided to stay stuck in the muck for a while. I surrendered to the blues while thinking of one of my favourite quotes from my mother-in-law: “This too shall pass.”
One of my best friends also sent me some words of wisdom in a text that simply said: “If ‘Plan A’ doesn’t work, don’t worry. The alphabet has 25 more letters.”
The note came out of the blue, unsolicited and without her knowing anything about what I was going through or thinking about.
Reading it was a gift. I typed it out and hung it at my desk. And now that I’ve written this column, I’ll get working on ‘Plan B.’ Or whatever letter I happen to be on now.
Lori Welbourne is a syndicated columnist. She can be contacted at www.LoriWelbourne.com