I was wondering if we thought about these times in our lives and maybe identified the one or two things that we can do for ourselves, that are a kind of “bare minimum” in terms of personal recharging, then maybe these things will become non-negotiable from now on. I mean, not only would we not dream of driving our cars without gas, but we simply couldn’t even if we wanted to. So when the car flashes the “low fuel” light, we may think, Shit, I don’t have the time or money right now to run to the station and fill ‘er up, but, damn, I have no choice, I have to get to xyz. Maybe if we know what fuel works to keep us sane—and while we may still protest “I have no time”—we will force ourselves to get to that particular station—and fast. Because otherwise we might run out of gas and stutter to a stop by the side of the road, with a busy signal from CAA (the road-side assistants) and no passing vehicles to help us, and we have to sit there, helplessly stranded, no good to anyone.
I’m not talking massages and spa treatments here (although for some of you that may indeed be a bare minimum!), I’m talking about the daily vitamins: tennis, a favourite TV show, a walk, gardening, a bath.
I have a few rechargers, although on a crazy day, I sure as hell can’t do all of them. That said, I want to remember to do at least one of them! Just a stop at the station. Just a quick run up to the pump, a retrieval of the nozzle, a slow filling up. Then back to the busy business of living.
My basic replenishers are these: a 20-minute uninterrupted read (to feel replenished, FB or Twitter posts don’t work, it needs to be a few pages of a book or a substantial article in the paper—it has to be a real thing in my hands that I am reading), 1 hour of creative writing (this is maybe my top rejuvenator, although, if I’m not “done” when I need to walk away, I must make sure I appreciate the hour and don’t resent the hours I no longer have), yoga (my one class a week will recharge me for my whole next week. But if I miss even one class, I am really going on empty after that), and—very new for me—10-minute meditation.
If I can do even one of these things, I can do do do for everyone and everything else. What about you?
Deb: Wowzer, Barb, this is so bizarre that you should do this now. Inspired by my friend Neil and his wonderful publications, “Enter Laughing”, I am starting tomorrow to take my tea and breakfast outside and sit. Just sit. No newspaper. Just sit. Then later, add paper. Then sit. Then no matter what else the day brings, I have given that to myself. I emailed him and told him how he had inspired me and in the process we have had a nice e-chat back and forth. That was the added bonus.
Dear Readers: Kelly from NJ—who you'll see often in our comments’ section—felt so moved by your support over the recent past, and so badly wanted to make sure you all knew it, that she asked if we wouldn’t mind adding this to one of our posts. Here’s Kelly!
Kelly: In the past two weeks I have realized something about this blog and our family of comment posters. I’ve experienced much needed support with my Mom’s surgery and then the overwhelming support encouraging me to feel welcome and safe sharing just about anything. (Just as long as don’t call anyone ugly :) ) When I first found this blog I thought of it as just a diary that had characters who could talk back to me. Boy has that changed in the past two weeks! I now clearly view everyone here as family. <3 I was thinking about how this blog now feels like we are all gathered in our own private coffee house just sitting around chatting about any and everything. Sitting and confiding and laughing and crying and all just knowing that you have people just a click away who will listen, offer support, and all without a single thought of judgment. You guys were there in that coffee house ready and willing when I was alone in that hospital waiting room a week or so ago. And then again when I was learning that sharing can result in people respecting and listening and encouraging me! So a HUGE ‘Thank You’ to all of you comment posters, Deb and Barbara! You guys have boosted my confidence and have been such a loving bunch of people. I am so glad to have found you all! <3 Truly a life changing experience.