Friday, March 2, 2012

When I'm Too Tired To...

Barbara: We all have times of super-power energy and then times of downright oomphlessness, right? Anyway, I do. There are times I have a million things to do and I can not only accomplish every one of them, but I feel like I could take on even more! And there are times when I can hardly do one or two things—and then feel guilty about my lack of drive.

I am in an oomphless slump right now. I don’t know if it’s from coming home from a break with my family (last week’s ski holiday), maybe a bit of lingering jet lag, maybe a bit of disconnect between off-time and up-time, maybe a bit of overwhelmed stress at all the things I didn’t tend to while I was gone and now must. But there it is.

This is the first time I’ve looked at my blank blog page and not known what to write about. How I wish for pithy insights or deep pondering to pop up on the page. Wish wish wish.

Funny thing is, I’ve been pretty introspective lately, with some really interesting personal musings stirring up and some subtle but distinct internal shifts, but I CANNOT REMEMBER A SINGLE ONE OF THEM. There was something about sports training and life I wanted to bounce off you and something else about writing. But I can’t for the life of me pull them from the miasma of my brain to the forefront of this blog.

Listen, don’t worry about me (if that’s your tendency). All is good. I’m happy. I’ve got cool things I’m busy with. But my brain feels tired. It doesn’t want to think. But it does. But it doesn’t. But it does. (See what horror I’ve wrought?)

As a last ditch effort to engage you, I’ll leave you with this: last night I was having dinner with a friend and we were discussing her long string of unbelievably bad luck and how she’s had to focus on keeping up with it all—like a cowboy riding a wild bronco—while her life-goals get left behind to watch enviously from the sidelines. And I don’t know if it’s related or not (remember my brain is on holiday), but I did wonder if sometimes we need to just ride the bronco and hold on for dear life, and sometimes we need to gently but firmly steer our life-goals away from the sidelines, and sometimes, sometimes, we need to look at a blank page and just … do … nothing.

Deb: Barbara, how many times in our lives have we heard the phrase “listen to your body”? This blog choice is clearly a case of “listen to your brain”. I think it’s great that you shut down and admitted you had “nothing”. As you know I have employed this concept in the past regards our blog to relaxing results. And the beauty of our blog-faithful is that because of their wonderful support (always!) we feel we can do this and they will be behind us. Sometimes we just have to shut down the mechanism to make ready the new assembly line of ideas. After all, it’s not like you were taking a huge exam or readying yourself to apply for a job. Your brain was simply putting its feet up ... amongst friends. Has anyone else had a recent shut down they care to share? 
Brain on a Break. Drawn for us by our wonderful blog-buddy, Becki. Copied with permission!

80 comments:

  1. I can relate. There are a million and one things that I should be doing. I have another massive test today as well as a quiz and reading and writing and...
    Well, a lot of stuff. Anyway, I have got to the point where I have stopped studying and thinking and I am just going with the flow. My grandmother's health has taken a turn on top of all the academic stress, so my life is in total chaos. I need to be in twenty places at once and just can't be.
    When I get to this point of reaching my breaking point, having more on my plate than I can or want to handle, I just stop. Stop and breathe. Think about something good. Breathe again. I push everything aside for a moment and just be. I will get it all done eventually, so why stress now when I'm feeling overwhelmed?
    I think the best thing for me is to take a break. I walk away and turn on the TV or read or go to a movie or mess around on the computer for a few hours. If I am up against a deadline then I use the rewards system: If I get through Act III, then I can take a break and watch 15 minutes of TV. If I get 3 paragraphs done, then I can stop and read 1 chapter. This works sometimes, depending on how long I wait to start the assignment/work.
    I also like to find something totally silly to watch or read. Something that doesn't take a lot of brain power. It helps release the physical stress, eases the whole body. Laughter always helps.
    Good Luck! Happy Friday!
    xoxo

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  2. Deb, you are so right -- I did feel incredibly safe here to say this. And that frankly amazes me -- as I spent so many years trying to never ever let anyone down. It feels lovely and free to be able to "let you all down" so to speak (!) and not even worry about it! Thanks for that.

    Steph, you make a good point. It was my reminder to shut off for a while. Okay, guess what I did last night? 3 episodes in a row of Game of Thrones! Now there's an escape.

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  3. Ah...don't worry.
    A blog should be something personal. If your brain is on vacation, then it's more than ok to write about it. Or write nothing.
    Oh...and I am always amazed that you write so many entries. It's quite awesome! :D

    I know that feeling. I really wanted to continue working on my book. Or start something new. But I can't. I sit in front of the screen, and nothing happens. Blablabla.

    My brain doesn't want to think about it right now.

    Instead I watch dozens of tv shows. Blame me! :D

    ...btw
    Deb inspired me.
    I'm not good at drawing, but I found that image of your brain putting its feet up really funny.

    Barbara's Brain:
    http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/9602/brainqx.jpg

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    1. Oh my gosh, Becki!! this is soooo cute -- can I post it to the blog???? If not, no worries, but if so, I'll give you credit and slip it into the story?

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    2. Haha, of course you can! :)

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  4. Good for you Barb! I'm glad you could escape for a while. I'm planning an escape this afternoon, don't tell! ;)
    Now, off to take a test...Ugh.

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    1. You see -- a test you CAN'T take a vacation from... Good luck!

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    2. Test went fine, Becki. My grandmother is in critical care right now, so I'm worried about her.

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  5. Forgot to add: I passed my computer science exam with 1.7 (that's like A- I guess...or whatever the best grade is :D).

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    1. Wonderful!! Congrats (must be such a relief)

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    2. congrats Becki or and love the pic!

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    3. Thank you! It is, Barbara.

      Thank you, Erin! :)

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  6. I can somewhat relate to this. I haven't really suffered from "oomphlessness" lately, but more so of an irritability. Lately the SMALLEST things have been setting me off, particularly my roommate, and I am really not sure why. I've found myself in an unsettling state of edginess and I really don't like it. Right now I'm trying to pinpoint why I'm acting this way (perhaps it's because the all-too-harsh reality of the real world hurling towards me at lightning-fast speed. Anyway...

    Happy Friday! Supposed to get some NASTY weather headed towards us...might be updating from the basement of a building or some other underground locale. Cheers! :)

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    1. I could be the same phenomenon (ie brain fatigue), but I do think that sense of "real life hurtling toward you" MUST impact a sense of ease. But remember -- from the "middle ages" perspective, it's all about one step at a time. Life doesn't hurtle so much as progress (provided you don't hide in a corner in the fetal position!).

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    2. Uhhhh, Holly and Kelly -- Reeeaallllyyyy not liking the stuff that's coming out of NWS Louisville. *frowns* 1" hail and confirmed funnel clouds? How're y'all doing at Berea?

      Hmmmm, if y'all ever need to sack out w/me for a weekend or whatever, if y'all can make it as far as the Paducah/Murray area, I'll drive up and get y'all, OK? (Or, to Ft. Campbell --- hot Special Forces guys? Yes, please!)

      HUGS!

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    3. OK, seriously, Holly and Kelly, Lousiville/Lexington area is making the news over here on MY side of the river. And, over the state line from y'all? In Indiana? Geeeeezzz.... is it true that ENTIRE TOWN is gone?!?!?

      Are y'all OK?

      *still waiting to hear from one of my beloveds in Madison County, Alabama* *worries*

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    4. HEY ALL. We're ok!!!! We are hunkered down safely in the windowless basement of our dorm. Several funnels have been spotted here in Berea. Needless to say we're stuck here for a while.

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    5. i followed your blog yesterday Holly . this is just a short note to let you know i am thinking of you and wishing you safety . take care .

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    6. Take care, you guys!!! xoxo

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    7. Bad weather? Sucks. Glad you made it through! =)

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    8. oh my gosh! 79 COMMENTS?!?! Talk about oomphless-empathy! I have been utterly oomphless. But I feel a spell of oomph coming on at any zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......................

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  7. I didn't even close my parentheses. Geesh.

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    1. pardon my ignorance but what is or are parentheses

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    2. we have just had our first Irish Canadian culture clash. we call them brackets over here !

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  8. Becki - Congrats on the exam grade! w00t!

    Holly - Yup, we're keeping an eye on the weather, too. It's awfully warm, sticky, and windy out there. It must be March -- the city's been doing maintenance on the tornado sirens this week. lol Unfortunately for you, the worst is supposed to pass to the east of us today. I so hope this turns out to be no big deal.

    Shut down? Ugh. We had an involuntary one here last month. One week, my son had the stomach flu. How can that much vomit come out of one little boy? He was sooooo sick. Poor boy. :( The next week, I had the stomach flu. Complete with high fever. There were 2 days in that week when I would've ended up in the emergency room if my best friend hadn't been able to come over and help. I wasn't able to stand and walk under my own power. Crazy bad dehydrated. :(

    My big excitement? When my tax refund comes (hopefully next week!), I get to order new glasses! Yay! OK, maybe that seems like a dumb thing to be excited about, but I am THRILLED. This is like waiting for Christmas morning for me. My prescription is 6 years old and woefully inaccurate. I think this is part of why I've been having so much trouble with headaches. My lenses are all scratched up, and I keep having to repair my worn out frames. So, I am VERY excitedly anticipating new glasses. I've already picked out my new frames. Teeeheeeheee I've worn glasses for 13 years. I've always had either black or gold wire rim glasses. This time, I've decided I want something DIFFERENT. Veeeeeeery different. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I'm going a little kookoo daring. :D I asked myself, "What kind of glasses do you want to be wearing when you turn 40? Who do you want to be in your 40's?" I found the PERFECT frames, and they are very affordable! (Of course, my lenses sure aren't because I have some wacked out weird stuff to my prescription. :P) I'm so excited to get new glasses this month!!! My freaky, daring, wild, bold new glasses!!!!!!! I can't wait!!!!!!!

    Suffice to say, when my tax return hits my account, my brain will wake up and be far more energized. lolol Pay off some bills, buy some warm weather clothes (or fabric to sew some), and GET NEW GLASSES!!! :D :D :D

    So, how's that for discussing the mundane? But, I don't care! New glasses are not mundane to me! It's a very special and much needed treat!!!

    The other thing that's going to wake me up this month? Kiddo and I are supposed to go out of town for 6 days. I'm taking him to see his grandparents over spring break. Yes, that means I have to put up with my parents. But, frankly, I don't plan on being at their house that much! lolol I've got stuff to do! Fun to have! I'm gonna play! Best part? I'm going to take my camera. My eyes are so eager to have different places for picture taking!

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    1. Oh hey Rigel...I read your wonderful words you wrote about my paintings...and I just wanna say I LOVE YOU !!!!!!!!thanks so much xo

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    2. Rigel -- you don't need to convince me of the glasses excitement. Glasses are definitely the cat's meow -- no wonder you're so excited!! Yay!! I"m excited with/for you (you must send us a pic when you have them). And yay for your amazing approach to the family holiday. Go have fun and adventure and sights (for sore eyes, lol)!

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    3. Oh, yes! A glasses pic will HAVE to happen!!!!!! :D :D :D

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    4. Thanks, Rigel! :)

      New glasses? Want to see a pic, too.

      And I hope you can take lots of nice pictures! :D

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  9. I was at work when my blah feeling hit yeasterday, I tried coffee,energy drinks,even walkin but nothing helped. My Blah day had sat in and there was nothing I could do about it. I had so much to do at work yeasterday like I do everyday,but I don't think that anything go done. When I got done after work however I had a lot of energy. I just hate that.

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    1. Oh, I know EXACTLY what you mean!! -- when the energy hits after you need it, argh. Let's reassure ourselves and each other that these days don't last forever (although sometimes it feels that way, especially when they last day after day after day...or longer)

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    2. Blah day...I like that. Should be a holiday. :D

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  10. Awwh....Wonderful post ...AGAIN!! Ive had so many times like this....I have the tendency of "ALL OR NOTHING"...when I am working....I can work for hours....Ive sat and painted for 10-11hours straight and still going a few times...and sometimes its so so BLANK...no idea what i want to...hell dont even feel like doing anything....for me its more like BORED.....lack of focus...its like my focus is drunk and in a dumpster somewhere...and my brain yells "I need a vacation so ciao" and makes my quest to find focus even worse !!and such a beautiful way you ended this post coz that is EXACTLY WHAT I FEEL.....I stopped saying "I have to do SOMETHING"...and embraced it by saying...."Its perfect where i am"!!
    it was easier to deal with..! and really taking it as a break for our brain..makes it easier...and C'mon I dont think you ever have to worry about writing here....its US....And I dont worry about this because the way you went on a vacation your brain needed one too...just embrace it and it will be back on track soon...just relax !!! xo

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    1. Thanks, Shalaka -- perfectly said, as always!! xoxo I also find that sometimes (like with sleep) the more you obsess about the "nothing", what's NOT working, the less you are open to receive the "something", ya know?? (I already feel better today with the beautiful warm sunny weather we're having, mmmm)

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    2. I am writing tonight you MIGHT FEEL BETTER ;)!!!! yeah....I know it works with everything....we make too much of some things...we just have to let go....yeah..It definitely works for the sleep thing....plus...I found my Old TOM AND JERRY sheets (yay!!) so I'm gonna sleep really well now!!!

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  11. Oh hell yes, Barbara old girl. Sometimes the brain or bod say Screw All This Responsibility, I've Had Enough. I just wanna BE, and the world will go on fine without me and still be here when I get back. Sometimes I just let myself follow my nose, and it's the best thing I could do. I come back (whether to work, or to blogging, or to daily routine) with fresh energy and appreciation for the things I have to do. Works every time.

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    1. Over the last couple of years, your blog, Kate, and your descriptions of such have been instrumental in grounding my awareness in that essence of being. The Saskatchewan ruminations are so centred, they're my inspiration!

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    2. That is so nice of you to say, Barbara. I spend a lot of time alone ... so maybe I have no choice but to be centred? Or at least it's easier to come across as if I am. But thank you for your kind words about the blog, because it so often seems to me that it says very little of anything. So YOU are inspiring ME to keep it up.

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  12. Sometimes it must be done. The fact remains oomphless slump or not you still wrote something and it's the thought that counts. I have the tendancy to try and push myself through those kind of slumps and not listen to or completly ignore what my brain or my body is telling me so good for you.

    I'm rather slumpy myself right now. I think it's because my husband left for Chicago last tuesday and he's what usually gets me to slow down or picks up a few things so that I have a moments peace. He also reminds me to stop and go to bed. With him not here I'm not slowing down and so I've gone to bed after midnight every night since he left (I get up at 6:30). I literally haven't turned on the tv, picked up a book or sat down for more time than it takes to eat either.

    By the time I realized what I was doing to myself without his reminders to slow down I'd knocked myself on my ass. I'm beat now and so rather slumpy. What really sucks is that now the things that are on my schedule are unavoidable and the next two days before he's home are really the ones I should have been saving my energy for. Oh and there's also now about a foot of snow on my driveway awaiting me and a shovel.

    I'm going to get another cup of coffee.

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    1. Yeah, I guess we have to learn to take care of ourselves. Can't let the elements (or our friends or hubbies) to hit us over the, er, brain :)

      And maybe that snow shoveling will turn into the perfect respite from the grind???

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    2. You haven't seen the length of my driveway, lol!

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  13. As you age Barbara this will happen more and more and you will actually like it. Now at 63 I have many days where I don't get out of my jammies. I watch mindless TV (catching up on Tivo'd shows or just sitting on my patio reading). I make lists everyday with what needs to be done and if I don't do it, I just move the activity to the next day and the next. I used to want to move and shake everyday and work full time. Now I am blessed to have the luxury of doing what I want, when I want and if my brain wants a break, I give it one. I am lucky to be able to afford to do this.

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    1. So makes sense, Madge. Sounds like a dream!

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  14. Just gotta add this in, this blog gives me a break that I'm always very happy to take. Taking the time to check out each post and the conversations that revolve around them is always a bright spot in my day.

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    1. This is so lovely. And on the flip side, reading these comments is a bright spot in mine.

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  15. Sharon( The Bronx is Up & the Batterys Down) ReineMarch 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Some time u r just over doing- EVERYTHING and u have to put yourself on pause.
    I'm in New York for a\ few days and until a couple of yrs ago \i usta RUSH around like mad to see/do everthing!!! THE I found myselff one eve staring at the tv set in my room- and it wasn't even on! and I realized - yeah i was doing what \i wanted but not ENJOYING it! That's when I started putting a day in of leisure- instead of my usual 7-8 places, its one musem one store and a late dinner tonight- ( no show!) and then I can run around 2 morrow w a bit of charge in my battery. Just a wee rest and I am enjoying again!

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    1. OH, have fun, Sharon!! Sounds amazing, downtime and up!

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  16. I used to feel extra "oomphless" when I had long days of clinicals and then would come back to my room to take a nap. I would usually nap anywhere from 1-2 hours; when I went to work for 2 hours I would just DRAG!!! Finally figured it out; cut out the naps. Granted I am super tired when I go to bed but I just go to bed early. Problem solved :]

    Sometimes when I'm really busy with homework and other nursing school nonsense, i just stop for a few minutes to do exactly that; brain break. If I just keep going through then I get tired and cranky and I don't want to do anything. Such is life.

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    1. Yup. (but I sometimes need the yummy nap too -- not very often but every now and then ... and it is grand)

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  17. I suffer from terrible anemia and I can tell you all about being "oomphless". Everybody needs a brain-break now and then. If you do too much for too long your brain and body will burn out. So take your break and enjoy it. If it lasts too long though, you'll want to have a blood test done to make sure you're not anemic. Do you do yoga? Yoga might help getting your brain relaxed.
    I'd offer more suggestions but after a glance at the clock I realize it's almost zero-nap-hundred hours and I think I...zzzzzz
    What? oh ya...
    Hugs & recliners
    Karen

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    1. Adorable!! Hey, yeah, my yoga classes just re-booted this morning! And they absolutely do make a difference. today has been a lot better already (even got some work done).

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  18. Becki that picture made my day! Look how relaxed and happy the li'l brain looks!

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    1. Awww. Yes, it's enjoying having the day off.

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  19. Barb and Deb - I can relate to "oomphlessness"! I love that word.
    In spite of "appearing" busy, I really feel very unmotivated a lot of the time.
    Have felt this way for a couple of years.
    I am not accomplishing my goals. The page is blank.
    Good to know I am not alone!

    maybe I should just ride the bronco!

    Great blog!

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    1. Sometimes omphlessness and riding the bronco are the same thing! (in that life is throwing us around with omphlessness ... um, does that make sense??)

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  20. Barb I absolutely know how you feel. I'm there right now, too! And, well, you asked us to share if we had a recent shut down, Deb, so here goes!
    Uni is just starting up again and I find myself juggling that and two jobs - among the myriad of other things I have going on right now. My brain's response? Complete and total shut down. I've spent all last week not turning up for things because I just forgot to. Very unusual for me as I'm customarily the organised one. I very nearly forgot to go to my doctor's appointment, and when I did go I nearly couldn't tell him why I was there because I couldn't remember! I also think there is a party tonight but I've forgotten to send out my usual "Who needs a ride?" text. But thanks to this blog I've now remembered. Although in the time it takes to post this I'll probably have forgotten again. I think I can sum the last week up in this text I sent to a friend last night.

    "I do some work. I procrastinate on some work. Next thing I know I'm waking up on the floor with Ray Charles playing in my headphones."

    Anyway I hope you get the rest you need, Barb. Good luck getting back on top of things!

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    1. Well, at least your oomphlessness has an excellent soundtrack. :)

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    2. You too, my dear! It sounds like you're deserving of a brain break if you're always the organized one. It's maybe gone on strike ;)

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  21. I will certainly have something to say later but right now, ironically, I'm brain dead. I will be back. :)

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  22. This is Kelly by the way, just too lazy to log off sis's account. lol.

    As I replied earlier to Rigel, we are ok!!! Safe and sound in the basement of our dorm. Several tornadoes have been spotted in Madison county (the county where Berea is located) and in Richmond (where we saw Colin and Brad on November 18).

    Don't really know how much longer we are stuck down here. Thanks for checking up on us!

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    1. And keep letting us know, please... xoxo

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  23. to me whether i am oomphless or not can depend on what i have to do in a day . when mom was in hospital i had to run the house , look after my dad and make everything was looked after . i was up and at 'em most days .

    now mom is only going in twice a week for chemo i am a bit more oomphlessness then when she was in hospital . for example thursday of this week was horrific . i took mom in for chemo then i was running round like an eejit .yesterday (Friday , it is 1-15 am here as i type !) i bugged out all day .saturday is another running round day as mom wants to go and get her hair done and 2 supermarkets need visiting .

    i guess i am trying to say is my brain works when it has to but not when i doesn't !

    as an epileptic i also take brain breaks without trying . it is called absence epilepsy .i can be talking to someone and just go blank for about 30 seconds or so then come back to normal !

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    1. Wow, I've never heard of that one, Linda. Must be frightening (or is it -- because, you know, you can't remember ;) ). But your regular sitch describes mine exactly with the whole it's there when you need it and crashes when you don't.

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    2. the absences aren't too bad as i usually do remember getting them as they don't last very long and unlike a full tonic clonic seizure i am conscious throughout . it is like someone hitting a pause button on a DVD player .

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  24. I swear I need to find out how you guys manage to read my mind EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It's unnerving. But please, don't stop: it's so wonderful to hear my own thoughts, jumbled and pretty much useless, made into something beautiful and shining by you wordsmiths.
    Anyway, I've had a on-and-off relationship with writer's block since November... and it's been more on than off, if you catch my drift. (And that just makes me think of 'if you know what I mean' which happens to be my favourite improv game.)
    ....I don't actually remember what I was going to say....
    I think your brain-dead-ness has migrated to me. That would certainly explain some of the weird things that have happened to me today.

    May your life be interesting,
    Sarah

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    1. Oh, my dear, thanks for this laugh!! Yeah, I truly believe writer's block is only that vicious circle between "I won't be able to think of anything to write" and then -- obviously -- not being able to.

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  25. LOL I am laughing at myself so hard right now. You all have no idea. Ok so the first time I read through this post I read "Oompa-Loompa-ness" instead of oomphlessness. I didn't realize my mistake until I was reading through the comments here and finally caught my mistake. : ) So the whole time I was reading this I was thinking of those little orange guys from The Wizard of OZ running around all frazzeled with too much to do.....needless to say my brain is also out to lunch. Here is proof I need to slow down and pay attention to what I am currently doing instead of the next 50 things I have got to get to ......still laughing LOL

    PS Please be safe for all of you guys in the Mid to south east with all those storms and tornado warnings. Luckily just some thunderstorms here for me.

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    1. Kelly from NJ:

      Uh... They're from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

      *tosses chocolate and runs*

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    2. Sooooooooo funny!!! I am also still laughing!! Man, you guys kill me. xoxo

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    3. Aww, I love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Was my favourite book as a kid! :D
      That's so funny. :D

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    4. Oh man...see I told you all my brain was out to lunch. LOL yes willy wonka is what I ment..........
      at least it made you laugh and me : )

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  26. Today my whole body is in sleep-mode, but I wrote my first blog entry...

    I thought of starting with something about me. So I started with explaining Geocaching to the world.

    I want to blog about my life, and the things I like (nothing too personal).

    Mainly about cooking/baking, sewing and photography.

    http://2handwonderland.blogspot.com/
    My Blog: Secondhand Wonderland

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