Slowing Down

I had big plans for this Fourth of July weekend. After helping my mom out on Thursday, I was looking forward to a friend’s art show opening on Friday night, a July 4th BBQ and a Portland getaway with my husband. Sandwiched in between all of that, I planned to go on a run, ride my bike and do a bunch of walking.

Wednesday, however, I began coming down with a cold — not too bad in terms of symptoms, but a real energy drainer. I started out Thursday with decent energy levels, but a day of errands and highway driving during thunderstorms depleted that right quick. Lethargic television watching  took up my Thursday night and Friday afternoon, before I dragged myself out for the art show, skipping my planned run. Currently, I am sitting at my computer when I would much rather be bicycling around the Mystic River Reservation, enjoying the return of sunlight to Boston. I am even mulling a return to bed — I woke up restless around 7AM and simply couldn’t lie in bed anymore, though I know it is in my best interests to return. I am trying to store up energy for the BBQ, with the hopes of being more or less better by the time we leave for Portland tomorrow.

I guess I don’t realize how active I am until I’m forced to slow down, and even then, it’s torturous. It’s not just that it’s a holiday weekend, with good weather and lots of great plans. I simply hate missing out on opportunities to be outside and be active, to engage the world up to the saturation point. And it isn’t usually obvious how critical a part of my life those opportunities have become until they are denied to me.

I hate treating my energy levels like a scarce commodity, hoarding it and rationing it out as needed. But I suppose the one good thing about these involuntary breaks is that they make me realize how much I value activity and appreciate how much energy I normally have to engage in life. My big problem is usually wanting to hop back up to my normal activity level before I’m ready — I’m not always so good at listening to my body — but I guess I need to be as much in tune with its need to rest as its desire to move, and know which is needed at which time.

In the meantime, I feel the cool breeze and see the blue skies through my window and can only say, “I’ll be back soon.”

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