“Always do the right thing.”

Up until the end of last year, I used this phrase almost every day to remind my son of what was important.

Then I did what I felt was the right thing, but it had repercussions that didn’t feel so right after all.

I found myself in a funk. One day, my son said to me, tactfully, “Ma, you’ve been telling me to let you know what’s on my mind instead of holding it in. I wanted to tell you… well, you’re all tense lately and it’s bringing me down.”

Surprised by his candor, I realized that he was right.

So when I noticed today that my son was down, I returned the favor of unvarnished honesty:

“Get your zhoozh back, honey. You’re bringing me down.”

So, really. How do you find your way out of a deep, dark funk?

Well, you learn how to “un-funk” yourself.

Do something to change the channel your mind is on. Get up and leave the room if this is where the funk began. Go out. Walk the dog. Listen to Brian Regan (a rare clean comic). Go to the bakery and ogle the cannolis.  Write a haiku. Watch Keyboard Cat.  Watch Nyan Cat. Watch Ella scat. 

It is possible to climb out of a funk, but it takes time. As of this year, I’ve officially retired the phrase, “Always do the right thing,” since “The right thing” is often subjective and elusive. Now when my son asks my opinion, I say, “It’s your world.” As in, I’m not going to tell you what to do. I’m going to remember that sometimes the best way to encourage someone you love is just to be there. Provide prayer and practical advice and leave it all in God’s hands.