Southern style: the creeping doldrums

tsj column writers - southern styleBy Randall Franks

Do you ever find yourself enjoying a perfectly good day and then before your know what has happened you find yourself in the midst of a spell of listlessness or despondency?

Those energetic goals that were there when you woke up have slipped back down deep under the covers. So you decide to go looking for them only to find yourself shackled to the bedpost and unable to pull yourself back out of the bed.

What about the times you are simply sitting at your desk and there are so many tasks before you, you just seemed baffled at what to do next?

Well my friend, you are suffering from the creeping doldrums. They just come up from out of nowhere spawned sometimes by a thought; a piece of music; the sound of the rain on the roof; some aspect of your life which seems to pull you down into the mud and keep you stuck.

When I was a boy, we use to go spelunking a lot and I remember one cave we called the peanut butter cave where you were most likely to lose a shoe before getting out. You would fight with all your might to get through it and it would take a lot of your energy. I don’t remember one of my fellow cavers that ever were left there stuck in the mud.

No matter how productive and positive one’s life may seem we all have days where the creeping doldrums invade our well being.

What is the solution?

For me, I find I just have to get up out of bed and trudge forward through the peanut butter cave until I have reached the opening that leads me back into the Light.

Simple tasks will fill the day until our mind and body are ready to once again tackle the big goals.

Now, by my excursion down this road, I am not saying a person does not need some down time to rest and restore, it’s just when we let the creeping doldrums steal from us even the enjoyment of rest.

Rest in the reading of a good book, rest in watching our favorite TV show or film, rest in talking with friends gathered to watch a sporting event. All of these help us to recharge.

The key to the rest is not to let the creeping doldrums convince us we need even more than we do and before we know it our unoccupied mind is filling itself with negative thoughts.

So, if you find yourself with the creeping doldrums, get out your old shoes and trudge on through the mud until you get to the other side. You will be stronger and next time it will be easier to leave the creeping doldrums behind.

(Randall Franks is an award-winning musician, singer and actor. He is best known for his role as “Officer Randy Goode” on TV’s “In the Heat of the Night” now on WGN America. His latest CD release, “Mississippi Moon,” is by Crimson Records. He is a member of the Independent Country Music Hall of Fame. His latest book is “Encouragers II : Walking with the Masters.” He is a syndicated columnist for http://randallfranks.com/ and can be reached at rfrankscatoosa@gmail.com.)

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