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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 24-Mar-06


Friday 24-Mar-06

Blue funks and cosmic dust

Sometimes I get into a blue funk about things. The issue in question just grows and grows until it is all I can see. Lately I have been worrying about my son. Or perhaps I should say I have been worrying more. I get steamed up and alternate between anger and depression as, to put it politely, he blithely limits his future.

I like words and although I have no idea where it came from, 'blue funk' seems an apposite description of not only how I have felt but also how I have been. It's a depressive, rubbishy state of confused dismay where I don't know which way to turn. It is not my normal positive and cheery way, and this only makes things worse.

A ray of hope comes from sympathetic friends who have told me their own tales of teenage tearaway stunts. One, now the head of IT at a global corporation, told of sneaking out at 2am to go to the seedy side of town -- in a car a friend 'borrowed' from his father. And I know of many worse tales of teenage terrors who are now pillars of their community. Consider the skeletons unearthed on national politicians and other personalities. Even a few moments of fun can haunt the rest of your life.

And so I feel better for a while. Perhaps there's no need to worry and that my son will turn out just fine. But then the funk comes back when I hear about untold drop-outs who are at rock-bottom and still digging, let alone the myriad who settle for average rather than reach for the stars.

But in the end the stars have it. When I was a confused teenager and sometimes as a confused adult, I looked up at the stars and got things back into perspective. We are all brief sparks in the aeons of space and time and, in the grand scheme of things, my tiny machinations are unlikely to change much.

My son will do what he will do. He may fly high and he may fall low. We each have our own journeys and he may have to learn the hard way. I can point but I cannot travel. He will live his own life and the hardest gift is to let him do so.

So when persuasion doesn't work and the blue funk dances in, reframe your perspective. Look round, look out and look up. And know that we're all cosmic dust.

Your Comments

Blue funk! What a great description for the state I constantly feel!

My step-son has ADD and wanders around in his own little world where flashes of his brilliance shine through occasionally and I think, maybe, just maybe, one day he will join "our" world on a more permanent basis! He seems to respond very well to a structured, disciplined life and we have been very lax in this area. Having said that there was not a lot we could do to help when the diagnosis did come as he was nearly 14 years old and he is also very anti asking for help or being assisted with schoolwork.

He loves Army cadets and, at nearly 17, is also enrolled in a Services Academy, which has an army ethos, and operates with only a handful of students at a time, some of whom are problem children and attention seekers. The Academy believes in filling their time with meaningful outdoor pursuits, sport and 15 hours a week academic core subject work and self discipline. Hopefully this will give him the impetus to gain the qualifications that are so necessary to his future life. They also have a lot of fun and I am sure that he will make lifelong friendships here.

He is not a "bad" lad and is never in serious trouble and is a very popular boy with his peers. Being with such a mixed group in the Academy teaches him tolerance of others and valuable leadership skills. We are so grateful to have found this course and that he was accepted onto it. Good luck to your son for his trip from which I am sure he will benefit greatly.

-- Linda

Dave replies:
The more I think about it, the more important that core person is, and not being 'bad' is a critical thing. The army sounds like just the thing for your stepson, giving him the structure he seems to need right now.

I have worried about being too strict and not being strict enough, but I do know that our son knows that we love him and that is important. He says he wants to study law, but I doubt at the moment that he'll get good enough qualifications from high school. But life has many roads and I trust he, like your son, will eventually find his way.

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