Energy Crash, Tumbleweed Stopped

All week I’ve felt like a tumbling tumbleweed, going from meeting to meeting, issue to issue, emotion to emotion. That’s made this week feel two weeks long.

No longer tumbling. That’s good, because I was getting vertigo.

Today I finished another Program Initiative Planning week at work (lots of meetings, lots and lots of them, all intense). I ate my delicious free lunch of stuffed acorn squash and came back to blog for the rest of lunch hour.

It’s obvious this is my desk. There is a LOT of red, orange and pink in there.

Instead, I realized I was just staring into space, listening to the high whistling sound made by the industrial air conditioning system, mesmerized by my keyboard and mouse. I only figured out my keyboard did this light stuff yesterday, at about the same time that I realized my mouse changed colors.

I hope you can see the mouse…

The Chinese are very creative, are they not? But, with no English instructions, I didn’t figure out this stuff until I looked online for how to get the mouse to work. The USB dongle thing was very well hidden. Anyway, this thing SHOULD keep me awake, shouldn’t it?

It’s all black and white, and I’m slumping into a puddle of gray.

But, the point is, I just crashed. I had nothing left. All the color is gone (other than the keyboard, this place where I’m working is nearly all black and white). That’s not good, since there is still work to do, so I hope that writing this will perk me back up! It’s very rare that I crash, since I’m one of those people who always has something to do, plus two or three back-up activities. I predict some more crashing in the near future. My brain is telling me I need to slow down and breathe.

Now, I DO meditate, faithfully. But, that’s more of an “activity” to me, because emptying my brain is doing something, at least to my busy brain. It’s my favorite part of the day, but that peace rarely creeps out into the rest of the day. Hmm, the meditation peace is active in some way. This exhaustion peace is empty in a totally inactive way. Like nothing. Meditating is something.

I need some clarity on this, so I’ll go back and think about it more. Or, I’ll spend another 15 minutes watching the keyboard.

Oh Well

Ya can’t do your daily blogging if you’re in meetings from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm. So here I am finally resting and watching Anita’s old movie channel. Mmm. Dr. Kildare.

That young whippersnapper doctor.

It’s funny. I’m exhausted but enthusiastic about things. I guess that’s good. Work is moving along.

Me at work. With filters. Lots of filters. I’m making that face because I’m biting my tongue.

But what’s great is that I enjoyed my Board meeting with Friends of La Leche League so much. The group will soon have a new website and be able to do so much good work and connect so many people.

The Board and committee chairs are so enthusiastic and full of ideas. If you’re one of my friends from LLL, keep your eyes open and consider joining us! It’s more than just trips and that newsletter I happen to edit.

Let’s just see what’s next!

And happy Autumn! I’m ready for new adventures.

Sure, There’s Fun in There, Somewhere

The last few days have not been in the realm of “fun” for me, for the most part. Just because I CAN do things doesn’t mean they aren’t stressful and tiring. I knew I had to change my team and work in a different way than before, so I did, but between actually doing it, needing support, and spending a LOT of time supporting confused people, by the time last night rolled around I was pooped.

The back pond is full again. And the grass is greener already. Photo by Lee Bruns.

When I got home, I was not up for wading through mud to feed the horses, and besides, I knew they had food and water, due to all the rain (the grass IMMEDIATELY grew). I did check on the very wet chickens and their very wet food (I can’t open one of their feeders, so, it was all in a very wet bowl). As I was checking on the new chickens, Patty ran into the pullet area and wouldn’t come back out. She went right over to poor Henley (who still doesn’t look great, but she’s eating and drinking). I tried as long as I could do remove her, but failed.

I am NOT leaving.

I crawled into bed and had ice cream for dinner. Self care! That was fun.

Today, it’s been raining all day again. The weather around here is just plain weird. But, it’s not hot. And the chimney leaked a lot less than yesterday. See, how great is that?

After surviving (set the bar low, Lee said) the three days of planning meetings with hundreds of people on Zoom, I was happy to find a box on the porch. It contained my new autumn wreath. It’s not too fancy, but will look good on my office door. I wanted to wait until after Labor Day, but I needed some fun, darn it! That will get me through another couple of months, anyway.

Velvet Pumpkins!

My boss said to take the afternoon off, because we’ve earned it, but of course I’ve had to deal with an ornery aging computer genius, and my team all want me to to one on ones and teach them complicated document formatting techniques. I wonder if I can do that while completely empty of mental strength?

I AM taking tomorrow off. Maybe it won’t rain and I can make it up to Apache and Fiona!

Whoops, I Hit a Limit

If I can’t get balanced, I’ll drop all my stuff.
(Robin Wood tarot, 2 of Pentacles)

For the past few weeks I knew I had been filling my time with too many things that take away energy and not enough things that build it back up. I know perfectly well what those things are, and usually I am able to keep a good balance, even with all my jobs, volunteer positions, and social/family stuff.

But, hey, as we all know too well, life happens. So, even though I have my nature walks, dogs, horses, chickens, and good friends to build up my reserves, some of these new things that have popped up have tilted the balance. I’m just worn out.

What’s Draining My Energy?

Well, some of the things are small and some are large. Some are at least superficially good, and some are plain irritating.

That’s my energy, serenity, motivation, and essence, just going down the drain.
  • I got a new job responsibility in Austin that seemed like it wouldn’t be too much, but has put at least half a day per week of meetings on my schedule. Meetings drain me (the new people I work with are great, though, and I actually want to contribute by doing this work).
  • Some new management strains have surfaced, too. Yet another initiative for “creating a mentoring culture” and “celebrating wins” has arrived. These things are all well meaning and “just” take a few minutes. For each direct report and your own self. And then you need to schedule some one-on-ones, which will add another few hours of meetings (with people I like, for sure, but still…I want to do actual work). And corporate initiatives drain me.
  • I try to schedule just two nonprofit meetings a week, but with the Master Naturalist class going on every week, there ends up being more many weeks. I thought I had it all straight this week, with one MN meeting and one day of volunteering for MTOL and all the animals at the thrift shop, but, suddenly a house closing, in Austin, popped up. ACK. I wanted to do it, but that would mean going to Cameron for a Thursday night meeting, then to Austin for a Friday afternoon closing, then back to Cameron for the thrift store in the morning. I want to do all the things…but wow. Too much driving drains me.
  • Many of my friends and family members, near and far, haven’t been well. I want to be there for them, too. I can’t let that go to the wayside. Sending out good energy drains me.
  • And I want to help Anita get her Cameron house ready for a tenant who’s going to help her fix it up. Watching her work so hard with no help drains me by proxy.

Consequences

So, I find myself having a hard time getting through days. I was just sure yesterday was Thursday. It was Tuesday.

Yesterday afternoon, after work meetings for both jobs, I was all nauseated and had one of those squeezing headaches, but powered through a 2-hour meeting. Today I had allergy symptoms and my throat has that weird feeling like it’s sore, but not like I have a cold or flu. I get it when I am physically run down. DING. I can’t even keep my eyes open.

Things, even pretty things, can overwhelm if there are too many of them. Photo by @lostintimeline via Twenty20

Hey, that may mean I need to STOP WRITING and go rest. Gee. Quit yelling. My head hurts. I need to be kind to myself and remember that if I don’t get my balance back, I can’t be much use to anyone.

Gonna make a few schedule changes and re-balance. Lee already changed the closing to doing it from Cameron. Now to meditate. Om.