Ah, the dreaded “funk”. You’ve been in one, haven’t you? For a couple of days…or a couple of weeks, maybe? Well, I am in a funk and have been for a few days now.
funk [fuhngk] (noun)
1. a dejected mood
2. a strong smell, stench
3. a state of cowardly fright; a panic
4. a state of severe depression
5. an earthy quality appreciated in music such as jazz or soul
Although none of the definitions I found on Dictionary.com accurately represent my personal funk (I DO NOT smell!), I still think I’m in a temporary funk. I know it’s temporary because I’ve been here before and know from experience that my funks are fleeting. WARNING: I’m about to mention my period, so if that’s TMI, then move along. Funks typically settle around me when I’m pre-menstrual. Ya know…fluctuating hormones and whatnot – powerful stuff that. Tuesday, after an excruciatingly traumatic trip to the dentist (more on that later), I was on my couch flipping through tv channels and stopped on the movie An American Tail. Remember that movie? Like, when we were 10? Yeah well, I caught the last 20 minutes or so and bawled – I’m talking tears streaming down my face along with hiccupping and sniffling – when Fieval was finally reunited with his family. This is a highly reliable indicator of funkage.
Suspected contributing factors to my current funk include (but may not be limited to):
* REALLY not enjoying my job at the moment. I’ve been helping out on the last stages of a project our office is doing in a joint venture. Which means, the project is not set up to our typical drawing standards, AND I know nothing about the project, AND because it’s in the last stages, all I’m helping out with is cleaning up the drawings by picking up redlines.
This has proven to be both boring and frustrating, which is bizarre. Usually if something I’m working on is frustrating, then at least there’s the benefit of it being interesting or challenging. And if I’m doing something that’s boring, then at least it’s just mindless work and I can sort of zone out and be crazy productive. For the past week and a half, this godforsaken project has me dreading getting up in the morning. This is not good. And I am positive this is contributing to my funk.
* In addition to the godforsaken project, other work-related contributing factors include Kelly’s imminent departure. Yep. She’s leaving our office. But, it’s not like she’s just changing firms here in Nashville. No. She’s moving to fucking Virginia because her fucking husband is in the fucking Navy and he has to do what they tell him to do. And by extension, so does she. I hate the Navy.
* I am seriously out of shape and my tennis game and self-esteem are both suffering terribly. I let it happen. And because it’s my own damn fault, it’s a huge contributing funk factor.
* My single gal identity feels like it’s gradually dissolving right before my eyes and there are moments when it really freaks me out. I can’t help it. As much as I like being one half of a couple, there’s still a part of me that stubbornly rebels against couplehood. I shudder to think of becoming typical and for some reason, being in a committed relationship makes me utterly convinced that I will somehow become the typical kind of person that seriously scares me. The kind of person who is dependent. The kind of person who can’t or won’t do anything without their significant other. The kind of person who begins every sentence with “we”. The kind of person who feels hopelessly stuck. Or isolated. Or desolate. Oh yeah…I have healthy attitudes towards relationships.
I know these sound like the ravings of a lunatic, especially if you’ve ever met Daniel and know that he is pretty much the most kind, considerate and understanding human being on the planet. Still, when a funk descends, these are the kinds of irrational thoughts that roll around in my brain.
When in the midst of a funk, I am not known to be a rational thinker.
* We had our annual insurance renewal at work this week. Joy. That fact in and of itself makes me incredibly fussy whether I’m in a funk or not. Insurance is so fucking complicated and so…so…slimy. I feel dirty after having to deal with it. Again – my own issues. But THEN, as I was getting ready to sign on the dotted line and be done with it, one of my female co-workers told me she had opted for voluntary short term disability. Huh. And why, I asked, would she do such a thing.
I vaguely recalled the insurance guy telling us that if we opted for this benefit now, then we wouldn’t have to answer any medical questions…but I barely paid attention to him. After all, why on earth would I need short term disability? Apparently the reason my female co-worker decided to get it is because our firm does not offer paid maternity leave. But this short term disability thing does. Huh. Um…maternity…yeah. No, I’m not pregnant. No, I do not have any intention of becoming pregnant. But, as my co-worker went on and on about this benefit, I started to panic in my funk-induced state.
And my thought process went something like this as I stood in front of her nodding and smiling while she explained this short term disability thing:
oh well i’m not pregnant i’m not getting pregnant the last thing i want right now is a kid i don’t need this stupid insurance but what if I want one later what if once i decide i want one i can’t get this insurance what if i have to take off work without pay for weeks what if my kid and i become homeless because i don’t have any money although i may not even be able to have a kid is a kid something i think i’m going to want at some point what if it’s already too late if it’s not too late will i really be able to work full time and take care of a kid if not, will i die of depression i’ll end up homeless and depressed with a kid to look after…
And then I started breathing again. And realized what a complete nutcase I am. And checked the Decline box.
Then there’s the dentist.
* I hate the dentist, which is why I hadn’t been to one in over six years. I take excruciatingly good care of my teeth for this very reason. However, despite being told that my teeth and gums are remarkably healthy, the dentist told me I had two small cavities. One on the right. One on the left. Super. I hadn’t had a cavity in like 20 years.
I inherited my curly hair and my innate fear of dentists from my mom’s older sister. Remind me to thank her. First of all, medical environments, and medical instruments in particular, make me weak. Needles make me faint. I tell this to medical and dental people all the time and they don’t believe me…until I faint. Pain I can take, as long as I know it’s temporary, except the pain of a metal drill grinding against sensitive tooth nerve that hasn’t been numbed yet. In cases like that, I jump up out of the dentist’s chair, which sends the dental tools flying into the air and across the room, and leaves the dentist and hygienist in mild states of shock.
So, while the dentist loaded up ANOTHER needle with Novocain, I convulsed and hyperventilated. Once the entire right side of my head was numb enough that I could’ve been hit with a baseball bat and not felt a thing, the dentist went to work again with her tool of death.
Okay, another reason I hate the dentist is because I hate people hovering over my face. It makes me feel incredibly claustrophobic. Add to that my sensitive gag reflex and I feel like I can’t breathe…and my jaw starts to ache…and my eyes start watering…and my nails dig into the armrests of the chair…and I will myself to remain calm…remain calm…breathe through your nose. And the petite little dentist cheerily inquires, “how’re we doin’? you okay?” To which I nod miserably. And then, finally, the trauma is over…until I have to go back on Monday for Round Two. Joy.
Fortunately, I feel my funk is dissipating. I start a new project at work on Monday. I broke down and joined the Y and have put Daniel in charge of making me go there. My dental trauma will be over Monday afternoon. My PMS will be gone soon. I'm going on a little road trip to Erie next week.
Yes, things are definitely looking up.