Back to the Fundamentals

Ding, dong the funk is gone…But, not before ending up getting sick.

After being wiped out emotionally, mentally and spiritually for a week, it’s no surprise that my body inevitably gave out physically. So, I caught a reasonably bad cold. I was laid out for a couple of days and still have the leftover sniffles to prove it.

I’m notorious for not resting when I should be. Sure, I might be in bed, but there are incredibly bad movies and tons of reruns to watch in between slurps of chicken noodle soup. How can I be expected to sleep when I can watch “For the Love of the Game” for the ten thousandth time instead? Catching up on back episodes of “Life’s Too Short?” More important than sleep! I think the DVR is probably responsible for colds and flues lasting longer. We used to sleep when we were sick and got quickly back on our feet. Now we catch up on the hours of content we have recorded. That’s gotta be worth at least one, maybe two, extra days of sick time!

As I was getting caught up, I was particularly intrigued by an episode of “30 Rock.” Tina Fey’s character, Liz Lemon, gives her accountant a big speech about how “this year is going to be different!” She rattles off all the activities, adventures and experiences she’s going to have. He looks up, incredulously, and reminds her that she said the same thing the year before (and, as it turns out, she’s been saying the same thing for years). Liz checks her diary, only to discover that she’s caught in a kind of “Groundhog Day” existence.

Although it’s only been a few months of regularly writing MONDAY VIEWS, I’ve been writing this blog for a couple of years. So, like Liz, I checked back. Exactly one year ago, I was sick. Done in by a funk and stress. Like this year, I was annoyed that I had (again) gotten out of shape. And, while this year’s funk, stress and cold was a walk in a park on a beautiful spring day compared to what I experienced last year, the resulting slap in the face is no less awakening.

Unless I make some major changes – real changes – I run the risk of ending up in an annual cycle and reliving the same year over and over. It may feel like things are different and I may be making some strides toward living the life I imagined, but if I find myself in bed every April, I’m really just kidding myself. It won’t matter how many amazing hikes I take each year, or how much I convince myself that I’m living a life of experiences, if I continue to fall down at the same time over (more or less) the same obstacles, I’m going to end up filled with regret.

As I was laying in bed, I also watched a bit of baseball. While it’s easy to use the start of a new baseball season to make a point (something like, regardless of what happened last year, every year is a chance to start anew), I was struck by something different. One of the announcers was asked about the difficulty players have in re-establishing their fundamentals. In short, how long does it take to get your body back to fielding, hitting, throwing and running with the correct form…the correct fundamentals?

I have no idea at all what his answer was, because I started thinking the idea of fundamentals. When I hit the skids and end up in a funk, it’s usually because I’ve gotten away from my fundamentals. For me, they include (among other things), working out, writing, making time for deep conversations, talking to my son about life’s lessons, playing, not taking things too seriously, listening to live music, not judging myself and, most importantly, not worrying about the stuff that’s out of my control. (I mostly trip on the last one. Oh, and the working out.)

For you, they might be totally different. The fact is that, without fail, if I’m true to these fundamentals…life is pretty good. When I get away from them, just like the Boys of Summer, I make errors. Baseball players get in slumps. I get in funks.

It feels great to be back on my feet. It feels amazing to be healthy enough to be able to workout again. And to write. I don’t want to find myself writing a post like this in April 2013. If I stick to my fundamentals, I won’t have to.

What about you? What are your fundamentals?

3 thoughts on “Back to the Fundamentals

  1. 1st of all: we’re all finding/fine-tuning our fundamentals; and much of that work happens in cyclical patterns. Maybe you should make time for yourself every March; recharge before your body and mind quit. Or you could go on the year-round schedule: 9 weeks on and 2 or 3 weeks off to keep you fresh and focused. Better yet, I’m going on that schedule as of RIGHT NOW 🙂

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