What Being Tired Teaches You
I’ve been exhausted this week. It’s a weird thing for me, to be physically tired. I am usually one of those annoying, boundless energy types. At first I thought it was some kind of virus. There’s a lot of that kind of thing going around. But after a couple of days, I started to rethink what it could be. After all, other than feeling as if I could just curl up and go to sleep at any moment (not really a great thing in the middle of a client meeting), I was feeling fine.
My unusual physical state this week got me thinking about some things.
I’m pretty lucky. In my life, I have been extremely fortunate to have minimal health problems (knocking on wood). Other than issues with chronic ankle sprains, and the swift removal of a malfunctioning gallbladder about 15 years ago, I’m in very good health overall. So, when something isn’t quite right, as with the sheer exhaustion I’ve been feeling this week, it gets me thinking about how fortunate I’ve been. People go through all sorts of horrific health issues all the time. They suffer immensely, and most of the people I know who are in that position hardly complain at all. So it’s really kind of selfish for me to complain about being kinda tired. It makes me realize I just need to clam up, buck up, and move forward. I’ve got it pretty good, and for that I am thankful every day.
Focus on the important stuff. I’ve realized that, right now, for whatever reason, I am running on limited energy supplies. That means, I’d better make sure I get the most important stuff done in the time where my energy is up. This week, for me, that’s been early mornings and mid-evening. I’m not focusing on why that is right now. I’m focusing on what I need to get accomplished in spite of my physical situation. It’s kind of a blessing in disguise, because I haven’t been doing much useless stuff this week. It’s all been pretty productive. Lack of energy has a positive impact on focus. Interesting concept, huh?
I need to fix this. I realized last night while out to dinner with friends that I’m my own worst enemy at times like this. When I get to this exhausted state, a few things happen. First, I let my self get over-tired, my brain gets overstimulated, and then suddenly I’m like a 6 month old baby that just won’t go to sleep. So the vicious cycle goes on – I don’t sleep, I get more tired, I try to sleep, can’t, don’t sleep, get more tired. We’ve all been there, I’m sure. It’s not much fun. Second, proper eating habits go down the tubes. I’m just too tired to cook something, so dinner is suddenly a peanut butter sandwich at 8pm. This is really not good. I get into a pattern where I look back and realize suddenly that I have hardly eaten a vegetable in 3 days. No wonder I have no energy! The solution here, of course, is to take a step back from everything, and regroup. I’ve been doing that the past couple of days. Taking a few hours here and there to take care of myself.
All this stuff is good. What I’m learning, I’m implementing. It’s working, because I am starting to feel better. I’m actually pretty fortunate that I have this sort of biological response when I’m overdoing things. I’m also pretty glad that after all this time, I’m finally learning to listen to it.