On my ennui.

gabe to the left   gabe to the right

Today Gabe is wearing blue sunglasses, a green t-shirt, a brown sweatshirt, a green jacket (oh, hello again!), khaki pants, and brown shoes.

Bad news, guys: the fog came back. (That was quick.) Hopefully it’s just for just a day.

I woke up this morning feeling ready for the day, but slowly the ennui started to creep back in.

It’s a different feeling than just being distracted; like, when you fall into a Googling session and resurface 35 minutes later thinking, “Where DID the time go? How many unlikely animal friends photos did I just look at?” and the answer is a lot.

This feeling is more like, “Where DID the time go? I haven’t done a single thing.”

I read a post on The Billfold today that rang really true for me (which is here, if you want to read it – it’s short!). In it, the author is maybe feeling more blue than ennui, but her mom advises her to take a shower, buy some coffee, a treat, and some flowers, and essentially hit the “restart” button on her day.

this pigeon doesn't care

“oh you’re feeling restless and discontented? that sucks.”

I’m a huge fan of this strategy. As someone who could generally be described as moody, I find it necessary to stop short, hit reset, and keep going with a new attitude all the time. And most of the time this is super successful.

Too many people chalk things up to a bad day and bow out early; if you’re really in tune with yourself and what you’re doing, it’s never too tough to ask “what’s not working here?”, identify that thing that’s not working, and then change it.

Just restart.

But today, my restart button was broken.

I even went out a bought coffee, a treat, and some flowers in hopes that it might just work for me — it did not. But I’m glad I tried it. Because the only way you’ll get yourself restarted is by trying.

And as it turns out, sometimes the thing that feels like what you’re doing because you can’t do anything else (like, oh, let’s say, writing a blog post about your ennui) is just the thing to get your positive spirits working again.

So now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get some writing done. Then I’ll put my computer away, check on the flowers and thank them for trying, and get some rest for an ennui-free day tomorrow.

PS. Seattle, if you could stop the rain, I think that would be really helpful too.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” — Maya Angelou



  1. Nina (@all tom bell)

    Hey, thank for liking my Sons & Lovers post @all tom bell blog!

    Nice place, btw. Checking it out! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Smash putt. | kate stull

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