I have really been hanging out in the dull drums lately, and I’ve been trying to figure out why so I can kick the thing that’s encouraging me to be there. It’s like this little monster sitting on the edge of a pit, and every time I pull myself up he bites my knuckles and I fall back down again.
But… why? What is this little monster that keeps nipping at my heels? Why does it suddenly find my fingers so tasty?
I think it’s because I’ve been lathering my nuckels with salt and pepper just for his amusment. Someone kick me while I’m down? That’s okay, lets feel sorry for ourselves. It’s just a teaspoon of salt. Someone get that bonus I knew I couldn’t get? That’s another tablespoon of butter. (Because everything tastes better with butter, right?)
I’m reminded of Johnny B Truants little book, “The Universe Doesn’t Give a Flying ‘F’ About You“. That person at work didn’t know I could have used that bonus. That customer didn’t know I was already in the dull drums and their harsh words just hurt that much more. All they knew was they “deserved it”, and they “earned it”. How dare that person get in my way.
What if I had gotten the bonus? What if that customer didn’t snap at me? Would I still be chilling on the ice shelf that is called “eh, good enough”?
When people kick you, run you over, and get in your way, you can salt and butter your fingers and let that little devil push you back in the pit that is the dull drums… or you can say to hell with it all, and stop playing the game.
The truth is, that little devil is only a few inches tall. Sure, he has sharp teeth, and they hurt, but if you stop just wincing in pain and dropping back into the pit then there is a really good chance you can fling that little demon off into next week. Then when you catch up to him you just fling him again. Eventually you’ll get stronger, and you’ll be able to fling him into next month, next year, or maybe next decade.
The real secret? Get off that icy shelf called “good enough”. Do something. Learn something. Apply for a new job. Stop salting your fingers and start putting on metal gauntlets with huge metal spikes.
The universe isn’t going to hand you a completed book, or a finished painting. It isn’t going to turn off the game and turn on the camera. It isn’t going to send a knight in shiny armor to save you.
SAVE YOURSELF! First from yourself, then from the little demons biting at your fingers.
Now I’ve got writing to do!
Keep your chin up Crissy. Things will work themselves out and it they don’t make it happen even if it’s against the odds. I’m not where I want to be with my job or my writing. I hate my job. It sucks the life out of me. I have an endgame, but it is a year and a half away. When that time has passed, doors will be opened. If they aren’t open as planned… well I’m just going to have to kick them down.
You should also get some vinegar to go with the salt and the butter… and a pot, a potato and well a knife and a fire would be nice as well. Then you can melt the butter in the pot over the fire, slice the potato with the knife, cook the potato into chips and add the salt and vinegar. Super win win.
Make that… Things will work themselves out and if they don’t, make it happen… I know my grammar sucks, but typing on a phone doesn’t help.
Yep, I’m in the soul sucking job right now. 9-6, five days a week. If I don’t do something about it, then it’s going to suck the life right out of me.
Like your idea of chips.
I was going to tell you it’s “doldrums” not “dull drums,” but decided your words were actually more descriptive of the condition.
I was thinking of “The Phantom Tollbooth” when I wrote it, and the actual physical dull drums that live on the island off the coast… slowly beating… drawing you too them… and making your life slowly seep away as you just lay there doing nothing.
Oh good, I wasn’t the only one. Also, Crissy – you’re not the only one in a soul sucking, life crushing, joy eating, smile smashing job. I feel your pain.
I hope you find something to lighten your soul so your job can’t suck it so much.