Gettin’ Out of the Funk

Posted On June 2, 2023

I had a tough day the other day. Thankfully, I know a recipe that gets me out of them.


My eighteen-year-old son is headed to Tuscaloosa next week for his Bama Bound orientation. My wife and I are going, too. I’m wondering why the parents need a college orientation so I’m tagging along. It’s about a day and a half worth of stuff. As a student, my Tulane orientation was this: “Don’t mess with the New Orleans police department during Mardi Gras,” some guy said from the stage, “or you’ll likely never be heard from again. Good luck at college. Don’t forget to study.”

Thursday my oldest daughter left for a month abroad as a part of her college studies. We dropped my youngest daughter off at Camp Mac near Talladega this week where she’s now a worker – she’s a counselor in training. We are paying for her to be there to work, by the way.

She and her twin brother turned sixteen on Tuesday. Long ago in a moment of parenting bravado, my wife and I promised our four kids we’d help them buy a used car when they turned sixteen, but they’d have to save a good bit on their own and we’d be a multiplier for whatever they saved. Today we are on the hook for two cars.

Suffice it to say it’s quite expensive around here right now. I knew these days were coming and…they’re here. However, there are moments of doubt when I wonder how this is all going to work, how it’s all going to get paid for and I get, well, a bit anxious.

And I’m certain there is no parent that hasn’t experienced something similar. Regardless of the size of the family or the size of the income, parents wonder how they’ll make ends meet. My father sure did. He’d walk through the back door of the house at the end of his workday and we’d ask how his day was and he’d say, “slow” with an uncertain look on his face. Standing in front of him was my mother, my two young brothers and me. Mouths to feed. Clothes to buy. College tuitions.

And I had one of those moments this week. In times past those moments immobilized me, but trial and error has taught me a recipe for getting through them. The key is to recognize what’s happening and get started on the recipe.

First, I remind myself that I have a perfect record for getting through difficult days. I’ve had many before and yet here I am. One hundred percent perfect record. Two, I need to get outside. Something about being outside. I can’t explain it. Three, I need to do some exercise. Any exercise. Get the blood pumping. And at this point I usually feel the stress dissipating. Four, have a good conversation with someone. Anyone. It gets the focus off of me and gets me out of my head. And five, reread the good books and relisten to the good stories. I just jump in and out of the books and stories randomly to remind myself of the messages. And I did all of this. Every bit of it earlier this week. And it worked. It usually does.

I love my recipe. I hate that I have to use it. But I gotta be honest, thank goodness it’s there.

I’m Cam Marston and I’m just trying to Keep It Real.

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