Managing Energy: A Lesson Learned

Jul 30, 2021

When the cell phone battery gets low, we plug it in, and when the gas light comes on, we stop and fill up. When the bank account has more withdrawals than deposits, we get things back in balance.

But what about our own delicate balance? I sometimes think of it as bandwidth – a combination of energy and brain power. When it runs low, some action must be taken.

In life before loss, I was always on the go, saying yes to every invitation and showing up for everyone who needed me, in some cases at my own expense. I was so busy people pleasing that I was missing out on precious moments with my husband. I assumed that there would be more time. There wasn’t.

In life after loss, my bandwidth was non-existent. I bet you can relate. What little energy and brainpower I had available had to be invested in figuring out how to survive.

The massive dividing line that loss dropped into my life drastically marked the end of people pleasing. (And by the way, nearly 9 years later, I have never looked back.)

It also meant that I had to figure out how to recharge my batteries. For me, the recipe for recharging includes just three ingredients: silence, solitude and nature.

The pandemic has been incredibly challenging for many. Like so many others, I missed human contact with people who are dear to me. On the other hand, I was able to spend ample time in silence, solitude and nature. I expanded my garden and took long walks through my almond orchard along with scenic hikes in the nearby mountains.

Where I live, things are slowly getting back to normal. It’s great to be able to meet in person, enjoy lunch with a friend, celebrate a first birthday, or attend church functions. So recently I did all of that and then some in a matter of 3 days. It was wonderful and also loud, crowded and mostly indoors – all things that drain my reserves.

Happy to have the opportunities, I didn’t consider my own needs. I left myself no time to recharge. It was a vivid reminder to get back to managing my calendar and ensuring that I can recharge regularly.

Note to self: Just because there is nothing scheduled does not necessarily mean that I’m available or feel obliged to accept an invitation.

Additional note to self: To be even more proactive, block the calendar with recharge time and honor it. Unapologetically.

In the words of Anne Lamott, “Everything will work again if you unplug for a few minutes, including you.”

I still don’t have the same bandwidth I had before my loss and that’s okay with me. Maybe it’s better that I’m more aware and spend it much more carefully. As with all things, if we are busy judging it, we simply cannot be learning from it.

What’s important is that we’re never done navigating life after loss. There is always something to learn about ourselves, a new chance to modify our habits, a new opportunity to grow. I’m up for all of it and I hope you are, too.

So, what about you? How do you best recharge your batteries?

And are you getting enough recharge time?

PS If you’re convinced that you should be further along in your journey, we should talk. My coaching program called Life Reconstructed might be a fit. If you’re ready to try something different in order to get different results, simply click here and we’ll see if it’s a fit.

Learn more about Life Reconstructed.

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