A little public service announcement: if you have been feeling like you are in a bit of a fog or funk over the last few weeks, that harvest moon has been taking a toll, and you are not alone! It took me a month (and counting) to feel my norm again (whatever that is). Women are more apt to undergo these effects, so if you are a fellow lady that falls into the “lunar-tic” category with me, or you are living with one, go easy on yourself– and others. The good news is, no matter how the moon phases affect you and yours, we are in a constant cycle (don’t we know it!), thus this too shall pass.
When I find myself in a personal fog, funk or those challenging “sinkers”, I hit “play” on a bit of sage advice from my mamma. This advice landed in my lap during my middle school days while riding in the car with her. One of those mindlessly “riding in the car somewhere to get to someplace” chats. You know the ones where it’s just casual, non-hostile talk between parent and child, and then out of nowhere, the words of a parent hit and stick like glue; never to escape– in a good, solid, but haunting kind of way, of course.
These are words that were so literal at the time, yet easily apply today more metaphorically. I remember the conversation, but not how or why it started. It was in regard to my being on the track and cross country teams (and probably bitchin’ about it). My mom said to me, “that first mile is always the hardest. When you feel like you can’t go any further, that’s when you go your hardest. Run faster.” I seriously have thought of that conversation on every run in my life since that day. (Like a nervous tick running through my mind when my legs feel that they won’t move another inch.) And it’s always the mantra I am needing to keep going.
Not sure if I can blame it on the moon, my actions or my reactions, though I’ve applied this to my non-running shoe daily life in challenging times more recently. Those times when you feel you are busting it for something (a committee, a job, a partnership, etc.) that isn’t a fit– give it a final, all-chips-in push. Then you can allow yourself to step back and have clarity on whether or not you need to stick with it or bounce.
Along the same lines, the beautiful Jane Seymour came to speak at the St. Joseph’s Hospital ladies’ luncheon a few weeks ago (shout out to all those gorgeous souls for an incredible afternoon!). I could have listened to that lovely Mrs. Seymour and her warm, elegant, soothing accent that makes you want to snuggle up into some cashmere and sip hot tea (and watch Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman?) all day. A touching point I gratefully stole away from her enlightening and poignant story came when she spoke of her Open Hearts collection/foundation and how it all began. It was actually founded on something her mother told her as a young girl. “When you are feeling low about yourself or a time in your life, reach out or give back to someone. It gives you purpose.” As simple as phoning a friend or volunteering at a shelter. It’s all about getting out of your own head—and way, really.
This sentiment was striking to me as I know when I’m feeling down and out, the very last thing I want to do is engage with anyone. I feel dim and not up for sharing. I’d rather try to stomp it out solo (and honestly, curl up and suck my thumb for a nice little period of time). As important as it is to feel your feels and allow that downtime for processing, this is for when you are ready to clench those boot straps and look for this purposeful direction in what to do to help you over the hump. No more woe is me, for me. This is inspiration to battle those occasional blues with real intention. Reach out to friends and up some giving back. Those things are obviously good to do often, though especially to help get you back on the happy track. And you know what? It’ll feel right. It ain’t magic folks, just perhaps some science of emotion?
When and if you are faced with that tough mile ahead, push forward and lend a hand or send a hug to someone who may be looking for it. If you need a nudge, think of Audrey and Rusty from European Vacation singing the AT & T commercial lyrics while missing home. The thought of the movie itself may just put a smile on your face.