It’s January 16th, 2021, as I write this post. It never crossed my mind that I’d be writing about this subject until my friend Mary told me she was in the 2020 funk. I started noticing more and more people mentioning they were in a funk, or taking about leaving social media because they were in a funk. I hadn’t told anyone, but I had been in a debilitating funk for almost three months starting last October, and ending abruptly just before Christmas.
Looking back, it was a combination of a lot of things, “COVID Fatigue”, the riots, an overload of toxin from media, general stress, overwhelm and a lack of inspiration. Anyone looking in could have seen it clearly, but I thought I should be able to just keep rolling. I didn’t realize how much the chaos was getting to me, until I just couldn’t create any more.
We got through lockdown, and a rough “re-opening” with a surge of COVID in our area. I guess people thought that because we were “open” it meant they could go back to life as usual. Businesses were hobbled by waives of sick employees to the degree that supply chains slowed, so we had shortages in our stores, sanitation schedules had to be modified for three months because so many employees were getting sick. Even the first responders were effected. And then, there was the unrest. Stores burned just ten minutes from our home, and one of my friends was terrified when her car was surrounded by protesters as she tried to drive home from work.
Suddenly, it seemed I’d lost my mojo to create.
I never thought of stopping the blog, but I had lost my drive to create new content. Roger is the only one who knew; I never really thought about telling anyone else. Some how, I got at least one post up every week, added a few photos to my Instagram account and sent out the newsletter, but all other projects ground to a halt. In short, I was in the dreaded 2020 funk.
In November, my friend Laura asked if we could get together early to work on our vision boards. We normally do vision boards in January, but in November, it seemed people were excited for Christmas and the new year. I guess Laura and I thought that if we had our vision boards done and our Christmas trees up, the nightmare of 2020 would come to an end.
We set up our vision board get-together here at the Casa, and invited Brooke to join us for the first time. Laura and Brooke made short work of their boards and excitedly shared their hopes and dreams for the coming year. My board sat blank as I babbled about everything but what we were doing. I talked so much, I think Laura needed a nap afterwards.
Truth was, nothing really inspired me, and I began to question whether to bother creating a board. I knew I wanted to move forward, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do exactly, or how.
Part of my enjoyment of styling outfits is centered around going out, taking the little weekend getaways, and our date nights. That clearly wasn’t happening. I also enjoy people watching and getting inspiration from other women, but they were wearing the same the same leggings and sweaters I was. When it came to fashion this year, we were all in the 2020 funk.
I normally like to write something inspirational every week, but was completely dry there too. I wondered what to say; most of my thoughts were repetitive and it seemed like everyone was saying the same things. We were overwhelmed, we felt overloaded, many left social media, and most people just wanted so see loved ones and have things return to normal.
Even my YouTube channel lay fallow. In the fall, my Amazon account was hacked. While most of the issues are cleared up, there is still a bunch of work that has to be done to completely clean up the mess. Add more overwhelm.
It finally dawned on me: I was in the 2020 funk.
I was shocked when I realized I was in a funk and when it suddenly ended in mid December, I was more shocked. I still didn’t have my act together, but something had changed and I had the energy and optimism to start to work again.
This morning, in my journal, I asked what would make me feel really happy with my self and my life. A paragraph of my heart’s desire flowed easily onto the paper. I then asked what I needed to make these things happen, and how I would go about doing them. This, I realized is my North Star, my “vision” this year. I don’t know if I will create a vision board around the paragraph I wrote, but I feel it is powerful and actionable.
I am one of those people who tracks along, not always noticing when I need a break. I am one of those people who thinks that she can just keep pushing through, but this experience showed me that sometimes we do need to stop and if we don’t, something inside will stop us.
When I gave myself some space and grace, I started to heal.
When I hadn’t heard from my friend Mary for a couple of weeks, I thought I’d reach out and see what was going on. When she shared that she was in a funk, and felt alone, I realized it might be important to share my months in a funk. No one should have to suffer in a funk alone. We must unite! Support each other and share our funky stories.
While I didn’t realize it, I did a few things right, and perhaps that’s why my funk lifted as abruptly.
1. I have a very small but encouraging circle of friends. When I finally told Laura what was going on, she pointed out several wins I experienced last year. Roger encouraged me to take time out, and helped me make the projects we worked on this year better than ever. Ultimately it felt good to tell my close friend and now you, in telling it, I feel like a veil has been lifted.
2. I slowed things down and worked on one project at a time rather than trying to keep all the balls in the air. One of the things people don’t know about blogging is that we might spend ten hours writing, ten hours taking pictures and the rest of the time marketing.
3. We got out and walked every day. We made a point of noticing the scenery, the little changes in plants and animals we would see on our walks. This helped me feel grateful and healthier.
4. I started to work some quiet time and breaks into my schedule and my day.
5. I’ve said this many times this year, especially in the newsletter, but I have completely cut out the news from my life. I figure that if something is important, someone who watches the news will let me know. So far, no one has called, so at least right now, things are pretty darn good.
I wanted to share this with you in part, because if you are in the 2020 funk, I want you to know, you are not alone, and that they do come to an end. As I have moved forward from my “funk” period, I have been flooded with ideas and inspiration again, and look forward to continuing to sharing my journey with you.
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