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  1. #1
    T. L. E.
    Guest

    Going 100 miles on empty...

    Isn't the weekend supposed to leave you feeling refreshed and rested? I laid in bed last night for two hours just trying to not feel like crap. In the spirit of all the writing exercises I've been doing lately I tried for some imagery to describe myself. I ended up with a vision of a rusty, ancient washtub (like the one at my woodpile) being used for target practice by at least 4 other folks.

    The question in my mind since then is, how to fill up again? How to get yourself mentally in a place that the bullet holes are patched right up and you can go on with life feeling, well, good? All the stupid magazines claim that bubble baths and yoga will do it, but all I do in the bath is hear my kids fighting and worry someone will come in and view my extra 30 lbs in the tub.

    So I thought I'd ask all you, when you feel stressed and strained, and empty, what do you do to feel good? Whole? Even-keeled? Strong?

    TLE



  2. #2
    Karen Dionne
    Guest

    Re: Going 100 miles on empty...

    I read. You can't keep putting out without taking in. Creativity is draining. Reading is my way of getting recharged.

  3. #3
    Eva S
    Guest

    Re: Going 100 miles on empty...

    Let's see: Read, walk, take a drive somewhere new. Go to a bookstore. Have adult conversation -- not party chatter, but actual conversation. Sometimes I go to a museum and take things in visually rather than verbally (I know, one sees words on a page, but for some reason, art refreshes me).

    When I'm on deadline, actually, stopping to do some yoga helps a lot.

    Doing something completely physical helps.

    For me, the most important thing when I'm drained is either to have complete solitude, or to be in the company of one or two people with whom I'm very close and who love me even when I'm in a bad mood. That can be difficult with kids, but . . .

    Speaking of kids, when I really need a break, sometimes I borrow a friend's kids and take them to do something unusual, and their points of view freshen me right up!

  4. #4
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Going 100 miles on empty...

    It's corny, but I call one of my kids or my mother. Nothing like getting in touch with the "continuum" to help me feel properly significant and and insignificant (ergo balanced) in the ebb and flow of life.

    Also, as I've noted here before, I keep my hands in so many interesting activities that if one is bumming me out, I just go to another one--a luxury at my stage and situation in life when there are few obligations weighing me down and a spouse who enjoys shouldering all of the "time to get an oil change" chores.

  5. #5
    Elizabeth
    Guest

    Re: Going 100 miles on empty...

    Reading and walking, absolutely! Both wonderful ways for replenishing your creative juices. I would add listening to music. Gardening works for some people.

  6. #6
    M T
    Guest

    Re: Going 100 miles on empty...

    I hug one (or several) of my cats. Also reading is a great way to recharge. Sometimes I bake something, which is, I suppose similar to binge eating but without the calories. Though I do eventually eat what I've made, the act of baking is what helps relieve my low mood so that when I get around to eating my creation I'm usually in a better state of mind and don't overdo it. Even something as simple as taking a nap helps me when nothing else will do.

    I hope you feel better soon T.L.E.

  7. #7
    T. L. E.
    Guest

    Re: hello up there

    All fine ideas, keep 'em coming. The key above in Gary's post for me is "at my stage and situation in life when there are few obligations weighing me down"--I have four kids, a husband and so many obligations weighing me down that to list them all would put everyone, I mean everyone, asleep. Wait, MT mentioned a nap, maybe that IS what I need to do...lll...DD1 to swim practice 6:15 a.m., DS1 to summer school 7:25 a.m......

    On my lunch half-hour I stared at clouds, listened to the fountain, and popped open my bible for inspiration as I am wont to do. I randomly landed on Ecclesiastes 1:1 and the subtitle was 'Everything is Meaningless'. Now what exactly is God telling me? He must be feeling funny today...

    TLE

  8. #8
    Ames
    Guest

    Re: Going 100 miles on empty...

    Kinda depends on what got me out of sorts. The common theme to what re-charges me is to take time to give something simple, peaceful, inspiring and/or funny even a few minutes of undivided attention:

    - standing outside at dusk to watch the chimney swifts that live in my chimney catch insects
    - doing yoga
    - playing with the dog
    - doing yoga with the dog (he gets a big goofy grin on his face and shoves his nose into mine...he thinks yoga is a game)
    - taking a "mental vacation"...sitting on my back deck reading or dozing and imagining that I'm somewhere exotic and exciting. Hey, I figure someone from out of town or a different part of the world might see my backyard that way ;-)
    - helping someone else with their problems (I'm thoroughly sick of my own most days ;-) Of course, make sure they *want* help.
    - gardening

    Of course, sometimes life sucks and you have to give yourself permission to feel that first...*then* remind yourself the world isn't so bad through the above activities.

    If things *really* suck, try throwing pillows at the couch and yelling at them about how much life sucks. At some point, you may start to imagine how silly you look throwing pillows and yelling at them. That's when you know it's going to be ok ;-)

    Ames

  9. #9
    Eva S
    Guest

    Re: Universal Humour

    The universe does have a great sense of humour!

    Seriously, though, maybe you need to sit down with the family and plot out a strategy to give you some uninterrupted writing time, and have the kids take on some chores so you're not doing everything.

    Watching clouds and listening to the fountain are good things -- sky and water can be very inspirational!

    You sound better already!

    And Ames is right, I'm sure we all feel better for being able to help you today!

  10. #10
    Ames
    Guest

    Re: Universal Humour

    Ah, "Everything is Meaningless". Exactly. An open invitation to see if at least some of your dwindling energy is going to things that really *aren't* all that important in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes when you start running on the treadmill, it all gets out of proportion, and it all seems critical.

    Often it's not all that critical.

    Perhaps there are places where you can lower your standards or cut back a bit in the name of sanity? I also like Eva's suggestion to ask others in your household to help. I was doing my own laundry by the age of 10, for example...which meant my mom had to do her part and not care if I did it to her standards ;-)

    Ames, who still washes whites and colors together if that's easiest...

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