I’ve been in a rut since, oh, about January. Life’s been breathing hot and gross down my back, work’s been poking me in the side incessantly, and as a result I’m run down, burnt out and barely able to muster the energy to socialize, let alone be creative. My brain feels numb. My hands feel limp. And to be honest, I’m beginning to want to punch my own cranky self in the face.

I’ve been here before. We’ve all been here before. But though I’ve spent the last few months feeling awful, and I’m well aware of many of the factors contributing to my blech, it’s only today that I woke up ready to work through it. And I’m going to write about it. Every day. Until my brain is firing on all cylinders, my hands are twitchy, and I’m back in my creative happy place.

And I think you should join me.

Rut Race badge

I’m committing to write about my rut race[1. I thought this up during my run this morning, hence the athletic overtones. But I’m no athlete and this isn’t about athleticism and it’s certainly not about winning. It’s just about getting up and doing something every day to combat the blech.] every day, at least through next week. It’ll take me longer than that to fully emerge from this foggy hell, but I know myself too well to commit to daily writing for longer than that. (And by daily I mean the weekends don’t count unless I want them to.)

Here’s what I did today

First, here’s what I did last night: I stayed up until *gasp* 11 o’clock. I was back east last week and didn’t sleep well the whole trip. The jet lag and sleep catch-up this week had me passed out at 9pm and sleeping till the kid woke us at 6:30. That was fine for a night or two, but it’s too much sleep for me. So, bleary eyed and nearly drooling, I watched vacuous television last night until 11. And this morning I woke up at 6:30 feeling well rested for the first time in nearly two weeks[2. I know. I’m a whiny sleep princess. As the parents say, I’m a good sleeper and I always have been. So when my sleep is disrupted for too many nights, I’m simply ill equipped to handle it gracefully. Whatever.]

Here’s the real rut-race thing I did today: I decided my morning run was going to be amazeballs.

Six weeks ago I began the Ease into 5K program because I hadn’t exercised since the baby came and I needed to. I also wanted three mornings a week when I’d get an hour to myself, just for me. I have plenty of time to myself if I want it, but I often spend it with others, making stuff for others or doing stuff around the house. I hate the gym and I hate exercising with other people. So yay, running.

You’ll notice, perhaps, that I started this running thing smack in the middle of my rut. I was hoping it would help me clear my head. I was hoping I’d have some great time to let my mind wander in creative ways. Alas, though I’ve been a committed three-times-a-week runner, I’ve felt like crap on most runs. I’d feel glad I did it, but I wouldn’t enjoy it.

Well, this morning I decided it was about damn time I enjoyed it. I finally felt rested, and I left it at that. And you know? Today was the first day my feet felt light instead of like lead. When it was time to walk I welcomed the rest, but I didn’t really feel I needed it. I enjoyed the trees and the smells and the light rain falling on my face when I looked up to the sky.

And I came up with this little Rut Race project. See that? I had an idea during my run. Amazeballs = achieved.

Do it with me, now.

Whether you’re clawing for air from the nethermost depths of a rut, or you’re just looking to stir things up a little for yourself, I hope you’ll join me. For we are not alone in our need for creative refuelling, and we’re certainly not alone, period. Even though it feels lonely in the muck of a rut.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about whatever it is I decide to do to combat my rut in the next day. If you write about what you’re up to, feel free to swipe that graphic up there and use it on your blog, too. Drop me a comment or an email to let me know you’re joining in, eh?

We can do this alone, but it’ll be way more fun and satisfying if we do it together.