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Underbelly: 10 Things - Wearing

Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#142 in a series of wild and precious observations on why things wear on us.

This week I contemplated the tension between two sorts of tiredness: ennui and weariness.
What I noticed is the sweet spot of a life with just enough hardship to help us grow and mature (if we take the offer) but not too much for too long, which can break us.
The word ennui became popular during industrialization, but interestingly, poets and artists felt it, not the kids toiling in the textile mills. Ennui came to English from French and is that kind of boredom where life seems completely meaningless and tedious. It’s the opposite of weariness that comes from endless toil, endless work with no end in sight.
At both extremes — endless mind numbing labor on one end, complete lack of labor or purpose on the other — lives weariness. And it’s debilitating, the opposite of invigorating.
Yuck :) Caring for yourself when you feel this way is challenging…but I would like to just put it out there — caring for others who are feeling deeply weary can be really, really challenging.
“When you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
3. Prompt
What is your reaction to people around you who are in a slump? Who are world-weary, stuck, in the doldrums, bored?
What is your reaction to yourself at those times? Doesn’t there come a time where you lose patience with yourself or with other people in this state?
Am I alone here? :)
And yet, and we (I!) know this, we need those states, we need those feelings, we need people feeling those feelings to jostle us back to equilibrium — neither toiling endlessly and loosing sight of sabbaths nor staying stuck in a place with no toil at all…
But, as the Great Dr. Seuss said: “Un-slumping yourself is not easily done”.
I think in part because in our modern life, we have lost the beat :) We have lost the rhythm of life and so it becomes difficult to know when to stop toiling (I’m deliberately using that word…) and when to pick it back up again.
Try a free write (or draw, or dance, or walk) on the subject of your life rhythm. Do you know it instinctively? Is there a melody? Harmony? Is someone else playing the music and telling you how to dance? :) Does this metaphor still work???
4. Quest
Notice the moon. Notice the trees around you, the temperature of the air, the animals around you.
Open a window. Close your eyes and let the sun fall on your face for a brief moment.
Notice your breathing.
5. Level up
Here’s my thinking :) Advice on un-slumping ourselves and of getting off the toil-track seems to always need the opposite of what you have at that moment: invigoration.
You feel like you have a Dementor on you, but you somehow need the gumption to suddenly feel gratitude? Etc…
Take as much time as you need to find your rhythm, hear your music, and begin walking purposefully, in time to that beat.
Hint: The natural world never forgets.
6. Article
How to Tell Whether You've Got Angst, Ennui, or Weltschmerz | Mental Floss
7. Video
Pema Chödrön - Getting Unstuck (Audio)
Pema Chödrön - Getting Unstuck (Audio)
8. Poem
A Blind Spot, Awash by Tobi Kassim - Poems | Academy of American Poets
9. Hero — I have been learning lots from this person lately:
10. Connect
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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