Monday, September 16, 2013

"Running On Empty"

 Even this morning, before reading a post for the group I am with on FB, about "Running on Empty", my thoughts were already there. I "want" to do so much, yet there is only "so much" strength you can muster up to do the things you want to do. All of us, as I said below face the dilemma of not enough time, not enough hours in the day, and so forth, well or ill. Being ill, chronically ill, takes so much more of those precious hours, days, hell weeks away from you. Time already seems to go by too fast. I will find myself doing some thing, and within what seems like the blink of an eye, or within a breath's space, time has flown by, I am yet to be through with one thing, till it's time to do something else. This morning was a great example.. I am waiting, waiting, for it to get light enough to water my plants outside and walk. I have gotten used to being out there at 5:30am. Now the days are "shorter" so it does not get light now until after 6:30am, So I feel as if I am "running behind". I am out there in a rush to do the watering and my walking, then I know I need to be in the house, either feeding dogs, cleaning up their paper, making the bed, or like this morning, laundering the sheets because I ran out of energy and time yesterday. After doing one huge load of laundry, and a smaller load of my own hand washables, then making my monthly dash for the big bill of groceries at the market, I exhausted. I still needed to do those sheets, hang up the dry clothes, I have like 20 house plants outside that need to be repotted before time to bring them in. And they are huge, or some of them are. So, it will take a while to get all of them cleaned up and potted into a new larger pot. Just handling those after 2 or 3 with the soil being heavy, and cleaning them up, is a chore. Now that most of them are not "small" anymore they have turned into a major ordeal in themselves. But, before they come in, many of them really need to be in larger pots, or have new soil... or at the very least be cleaned up and ready for the winter inside. 
Then of all things, life is so incredibly busy, and time is so short, I almost forgot my husbands birthday! If it were not for my own calendar and reminders, I may have forgotten it all together.. There I go again, I have to have notes, for my notes, and a calendar, for the calendar, that goes along with the reminders. One must laugh about it, or I would find myself crying over it all the time. Crying never solved one thing. Yet, these last couple of months, I would love to cry, I just do not even have the time or energy for tears either. 
I can't even find time, if I wanted to, to write. I just knew I would really be pumped up by this time of the year, thinking about how quickly my "personal deadline" to have the book finished is coming up. Yet, honestly, I don't have a clue even how I really want to behind it. I have written, the first chapter no telling how many times. I begin, it sounds good, then all of a sudden I don't like it at all, and I quit. Let's just say at the rate I am going, I'll be lucky to have it completed by the first of 2015... if that. I know if I could just "find that first chapter, those first words, the first paragraph, something that will truly get me started I would probably get it written quickly. I have yet to find those words that I need in order for my "voice" to kick in. 
Just a few short weeks ago, I had almost decided NOT to write anymore. I think that is still the issue. I am "just not" there... I can't find the very essence of what I want to say. I maybe able to post in FB, or on my blog, as I am now. I just don't have the capacity brain wish, or the ability to find enough to say that all matches for an "entire book"... I have various "chapters" in my life, that can be FULL for sure. Yet, for me to have "enough" of a pattern, the "road" for the book, something that puts all of the chapters together, to hold them and have them make sense, I'm not sure of. 
Lately, my pattern of writing has changed so much. I don't write as I used to. That is not necessarily a bad thing. I am sure many of us "writers" find a different flow of words as our lives change. We never remain the same, as a river winding. Lives flow one way, and then they wind around a bend, only to almost flow in the opposite direction.
With chronic illness, you must be ready for a huge change at any moment. You maybe as well as can be. Within hours you could be as ill, as you ever been. Or you may spend years on one medication, for it to completely stop working, and you must get used to something different. Even different doctors, more tests, everything can change. I realize "life" in general is that way. We all face change over time. But, with chronic illness the pattern of life can often be a conflict that is very hard to understand. I feel that is why we often lose out in relationships, friends, family, jobs, even our own selves. Those huge changes, that often come without notice, can alter what we know is "life" forever. 
I continue to "hunt" for the right diagnosis.

Sunday early morning... seems as if time is continuing to fly by, and I feel as if I've missed doing so many things I want or need to do. I just finished writing something on a group I belong to about a "subject' I actually describe in some of my writing. It came from a famous song, (back in the 70's I think), titled "Running On Empty", by Jackson Browne. I am not sure they were exactly "famous". I believe they were more like one of those "one hit" wonders. There one album with that song on it was great. But, I am not sure I remember anything after it. The title, as well as the lyrics of that song remind me of life for many of us. Especially those with a chronic illness or chronic pain issues. Life is already busy continually as it is. Nothing anymore is simple, yet all seems complicated. Then we you add chronically being ill with something you know you must live with the rest of your life, things tend to seem even more "draining" than those that do not have to deal with sickness. When you are chronically ill, it is like the "spoon theory", that many of us know about. You only have so many "spoons" daily to give. You could call it anything, filled glasses of energy etc. And trying to muster up "more" takes enough energy when you are well, but you usually can. But, when you are "ill", and you deal with it already "emptying" you out in itself.. that drained, I can't take another step, or give another drop, or speak another word... that place of total emptiness... unless you can "fill it up" there is no way you will get through the next moment, the next day. So, you must find ways to not allow life to "drain" you to the place of empty. Just like a car, you have to have "fuel" to survive or you are just stuck in one spot, until that fuel is put back in. Plus you must learn to "budget" your life, whether it be physically, emotionally, or mentally, everything can be draining to the soul, and to your "aura". Whether it is a conversation with someone who seems to take all of your "energy", or being somewhere that burns up your emotional state, or making the mistake of doing too much at one time physically, all of it is a drain on the body and the soul. The part that is so bad, it how do we "budget" our time? How do we budget our emotional and mental state? That is the huge one. We maybe able to say okay I am or I am NOT doing, this, that or the other physically in a day, etc. When it comes to your emotional place and your mental place, you never know when that "drain" will come. You maybe in a spot where you are finally feeling "filled" and your glass maybe almost running over the brim for one moment, then something or someone comes along, a moment in time, and within the blink of an eye, all has been totally depleted from you. How do we "allocate" ourselves in all realms when we know there is only a certain amount of "our strength" left? We must make a decision at to what is most important. It is that draining conversation with someone, or baking a cake for the weekend? It is being online, and writing here, or emailing friends etc... or doing house work, or going out to the market? When can you find "time" for you? To me that is the "key" to it all. That key is not so easy to come by, and when you find it, it does not always fit in the door of your life so you can turn to either open or shut the depletion from your own self. Whether we turn the "hose" on of life full blast and lose ourselves quickly, like a weekend trip that takes days to recover from, or use a small trickle of ourselves through some simple housework, and a small bill of groceries from the local market. What empty's your glass? What consumes you? What makes you feel full again? All such great questions. Not always so easy to answer. So, rather than look for those answers, we find ourselves, "Running on Empty" all too often.
Thanks Clarissa for the "idea". I did not mean to take it from you at all. It just really hit me last night when I read it, so I wanted to elaborate here on my page too. I give you the credit though for bringing it to mind.

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