Running on Empty?

English: A really cool picture of random things.

A really cool picture of random things. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight, I am doing something I told myself I wasn’t going to do. I am working on a blog post  for tonight that I didn’t start until late afternoon. I know I should be getting more posts done ahead or at least have some shorter posts ready in the event life gets in the way of my posting schedule. I know this, and yet when I started this draft, I had five hours to midnight. 

It’s not really news that life has been getting in my way lately, but today was a little crazier than usual. Usually on Friday, I can work at home on the textbook project and other tasks, but today was different. I had an extra class to teach this morning and two meetings to attend this afternoon. When I left this morning, I wasn’t done with tonight’s post, but I had a fair idea what I was doing and was well on my way. Unfortunately, I got some rather disturbing news at one of the meetings, and it kind of put me in a bit of a tailspin. Things are going to be fine, but with the stress I’ve been under as of late, today was more than a little overwhelming. 

So at 7:00, I was sitting at the keyboard with no desire or focus to finish the post I had planned for tonight, and I wasn’t really interested in working on any of the other posts in my draft queue. The problem, however, was I didn’t feel like starting anything new either. Well, that last part isn’t exactly true; what I mean is that I felt like I had no footing to decide on a topic and go. With almost four months of blogging under my belt, I was feeling like maybe I could just let it go. But of course, that’s not what I’m going to do.

Luckily, I’m determined not to let these setbacks interfere with my blog. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I am in the early stages of digging myself out of the responsibilities I’ve taken on. I’ve accepted the fact that my quilting and other hobbies have to wait for several months for the sake of the textbook project. But I am not willing to give up on the one thing I do for me: the blog will continue. 

So as I sat at the keyboard at 7:00, there weren’t many keys being touched. My husband suggested that I just start righting anything. What a great idea. Because it was only a few sentences in when I typed, “I feel emotionally drained.” 

emotion icon

emotion icon (Photo credit: Łukasz Strachanowski)

Hmmmm. Emotionally drained. What does that mean exactly. When I’m drained, I feel like I can’t go on. Everything is way too much effort. Emotionally drained–drained of emotion. Am I really drained of emotion? Am I a container for emotions? It got me thinking.

It seems that occasionally being drained wouldn’t be all bad. Kind of like an oil change for your car. Drain out the old; replace it with new. Make a fresh start. Keep the engine running smoothly.

Or it could be like a root-bound houseplant. When the supply of nutrients has been exhausted, re-pot the plant into a larger pot, give it fresh soil. Room to stretch and grow.

So maybe being emotionally drained isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a kind of maintenance that needs to be done occasionally when life gets overwhelming. If heeded, it becomes an opportunity to renew, regroup, and start again refreshed. Even if rough spots get resolved, as mine did today, I have to allow for the energy levels to be replenished. Fortunately, the weekend is here. Time to re-pot some plants, stretch, breathe, and begin again.

2 comments on “Running on Empty?

  1. I can totally relate to not having enough time to get it all done. My novel writing is non-existent and I’m usually about three days behind (at least) on blog reading. I try to do 2 good posts a week, but that may have to give as well.

    I like the idea that being emotionally drained can be positive – I like the view that it is an opportunity for cleansing rather than a negative thing that should be avoided. I hope that the weekend provided the rest that you needed!

    P.S. Don’t be too hard on yourself for not having posts prepared ahead of time. Sometimes it just isn’t possible.

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