Growing up, one of my go-to chores was unloading the dishwasher. I hadn’t thought about that in a long time, but tonight, as I was putting away a handful of silverware in my now dishwasher-less kitchen, I had this vivid moment of de ja vu. (Or, if you trust the first impulse of my autocorrect, “de ja Vulcan.”)
There’s something so comforting about such simple tasks, in those rare moments when we slow down enough to recognize them. Like a scene straight out of Our Town, I started to feel nostalgic and thoughtful over the peaceful, predictable order of the dish drawer. No matter what, the spoons go here and forks can go there, and for 25 seconds or so, the world makes sense.
Life in general has felt not-that-simple of late. Just been in a funk. Not feeling creative. Feeling overwhelmed. Worried about the future. Painfully aware of being the only adult at the Kids Table on Thanksgiving (metaphorically. My family mixes it up at mealtime. But still). Just an overarching square-peg-in-round-hole feeling that I haven’t been able to shake. The feeling gets worse when I feel like I can’t write — then my go-to form of self-therapy is gone. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Funk.
So tonight was The Skinny Improv Christmas Party, and I almost didn’t go. Simply because of The Funk, and the digging-in-of-the-heels that takes place on the Sunday night at the end of a long weekend. But thankfully, I forced myself into the shower and into my holiday sweater and drag-queen-worthy red high heels, and I followed the truest rule of de-funkification I know: Go to the party.
The sneaky sinisterness of depressed moods is their tendency toward isolation. Staying home when you’re bummed feels so right. Yesterday’s sweatpants and tomorrow’s worries feel like the perfect excuse to snuggle in and wallow. But wallowing’s no good. You have to go to the party.
Because that’s where the people are. People who, truth be told, are just as screwed up and weird as you are, in their own ways. But everybody’s figuring it out. This group especially. Just a bunch of big ol’ dorks we are. Improv draws an eclectic mix of performers and poets and introverts and extroverts and red fish and blue fish. (A pleasant side-effect: Our White Elephant exchanges are never boring.)
So I put an end to this Thanksgiving weekend, still overwhelmed and worried, but a little less so. Thanks to the dish drawer. And the party. And the healing powers of tacky Christmas sweaters. Blessed are they.