Friday, February 10, 2012

Mid-life and Exhaustion

She pictured herself hanging on with all her fingers to a wooden dock, and then, after hours of cramping hand pain, finally just lifting off her fingers, letting go of the dock, letting the gentle water and waves pull her backwards, like a pair of huge motherly arms gently tugging on her from behind, guiding her down river. It would be so easy, to just fall back, stop striving, stop rushing, stop getting things done, move backwards instead of forwards. Why do we always have to run forward, move forward, progress? she thought. The sense of accomplishment was nothing to her now. It only burdened her, the constant list of things to do. She wanted to refuse to function with goals and lists, although all her life it had kept her organized, sane, functional.

Now she simply wanted, if she could admit to the truth without guilt, she very much wanted to let go, and stop. Everything. Deadlines. Doing. Shopping. Decorating. Renovating. Driving. Registering. Volunteering. Managing. Coping. At a very deep level, the fear of her inner blank slate was going away. She wanted that white room. Actually, the fear was rising to the surface and she was seeing it, instead of hiding behind the business. And now that she looked at the fierce holding on out of fear in the face, she no longer could do it. Something, some vision of a deeper life, some need for inner psychic peace and ease, called to her. How ignore it, when she was so exhausted anyway?

July 7, 2005

The above is a short entry from my journal, which I thought I might develop into a short story.  I post it hear to remind myself that I was NOT always feeling so great and energetic as I am now. In fact, 6 years ago, I was in the midst (nearly at the end) of a mid-life transition that included fatigue, overwhelm, anxiety, mild depression probably (from the sounds of it) - plus my father had recently passed away, and my kids were hitting puberty. It does get better, I promise, if you take good care of yourself.

My advice to myself, and to you, dear reader, is to REST. The only real medicine for exhaustion according to Susun Weed (and there's a chapter about this in The Tao of Turning Fifty) is to rest, do nothing, lower your expectations, reduce your responsibilities to the absolutely essential, before you end up breaking down and being out of commission anyway.

You can take all the herbal supplements, caffeine or stimulants in the world, but if at the base of it, you are really really tired, allow yourself more time for REST.

enjoy the mid-winter mildness,
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1 comment:

Raven said...

Thank you for this. The recent cold I had gave me permission to float away. I let myself go into the current and it took me deep within. As I now resurface I feel transformed,changed somehow. During that slowed down time I processed a lot, released a lot. I feel lighter now, cleaner. Ready to start again.