Those of you who read my post last week know I have been struggling lately with time and energy management. In exploring new opportunities, I find myself unable to juggle all the activities and routines I would like to embrace. I know the idea is that, as I find healthy habits and mechanisms, I should be letting go of less healthy choices. I get that and I have been trying to do a better job of making the healthier choices. The problem comes about when I am trying to choose between two healthy activities.
I had been doing very well throughout the holiday season. I felt happy and I was being gentle with myself. I had momentum and vitality. I delighted in the new experiences I tried. I kept up with the healthy activities that I have built into my life since retirement. I was writing blog pieces regularly and smoothly. I was walking my six to seven miles a day. I was keeping up with my Bible reading, prayer, and devotional activities. I spent my evenings bonding with Max over conversation and old videos. I maintained or improved my relationships. In addition, I took advantage of opportunities to engage with a wider range of people. I made a more energetic start on writing my next book. I was keeping a regular meditation schedule. I added another Scripture study. I was keeping all the balls in the air and enjoying the swishing noise they made as they circled above my head.
Then, something happened right around New Year’s Eve. I do not know if it was the post-holiday letdown or if it was something more significant. I had some sad news about someone important to me at that time. In fact, that person is someone who has particularly encouraged my new outlook. Maybe I am just spoiled and whiny. I do not know. Whatever the reason, I crashed over the New Year’s weekend. I have tried pretending I did not. I have tried talking myself back onto the happy wagon. I have tried spinning the wheels and trying to jump back on the bike. Nothing has worked.
Those balls that had been pleasantly whooshing above my head came hurling down onto my cranium, creating a kind of emotional concussion. I am confused. The rhythm of my new life broke down and all my momentum was gone. I was getting behind on my Scripture study. I was walking around my bedroom in the middle of the night, trying to get my six miles done. I was taking shortcuts in communication. I was getting annoyed with Max for trying to convince me to learn enough deep information about Christian apologetics to advance arguments in Sunday School. I felt like I was getting nothing accomplished.
It is bad enough that I felt scattered and like I was not accomplishing anything. What came next was worse. It was a feeling that my brain, energy, and motivation were drying up. Ideas and thoughts that had been so free flowing only a few days before seem to squeeze out of my mind with all the fluidity of the last bit of toothpaste in the tube. I had several of my “not fit for human consumption” days. I tried to ignore the feeling and continue with planned activity, hoping it would help. Unfortunately, it did not help, and I just feel empty. If I feel anything, I just feel guilty for not being better able to engage.
I am going to try to cut myself some slack here. It certainly has not helped to beat myself up. Maybe a gentler approach will help. I am going to take a few deep breaths. Hopefully, I am not broken; I just need a break.
What do you do when you hit the doldrums? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have an unbroken day!