So we’re all given the same 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to live our lives. That time is a precious commodity, a gift that not enough of us value as dearly as we should. A moment wasted never returns. And sometimes those wasted moments turn into days and weeks and years and maybe even lifetimes. That’s a lot of time to spend your energy on.
Our lives don’t come with rewind buttons and – even if they did – we would probably go back to the bad hairdo and platform shoe days of our high school years and make better fashion and makeup choices. (Why oh why did someone not tell me that blue frosted eyeshadow was not a good idea? Oh wait. My Mom did. Sorry, Mom, for not listening). But rewinding and revisiting and reimagining and replaying those moments, those actions, those choices, those decisions can be all-consuming and stop us from moving forward. Or at least slow us down enough to create our own personal traffic jam.
Sometimes we can feel exhausted even when we’re not tired and it’s an emotional exhaustion brought on by worry and fretting and thinking “If only I had . . ” or “Why didn’t I . . ” or “What was I thinking when I . . ” (I suspect you all have your own versions of these questions without answers that can play in an endless loop in your brain, always lurking back there in the shadows, never quite going away but just present enough to inhabit a corner of your mind all the time). It’s the craziness we all pretend we’re not dealing with. But we all do even if no one owns up to it.
No one ever judges us as harshly as we judge ourselves. (But if someone does, please remove that person from your orbit immediately. You don’t need their negative energy). We never stop second-guessing about a decision made that didn’t turn out as we hoped. We point the finger of blame at ourself when oftentimes it’s another who has messed up our plans, derailed our future, sabotaged our dreams, rented space in our head they don’t deserve to occupy.
As women, we’re told to empower ourselves. We’re given so many opportunities to do that, opportunities our mothers and grandmothers didn’t have. We are the people who do it all, or at least think we can. We mother our children, we take care of our parents (if we’re blessed enough to still have them), we listen to our friends’ tales, we shoulder the burden of someone else’s troubles. We work until we think we can’t work a moment longer, and then we work some more. We balance relationships, checkbooks, schedules. We function on too little sleep, too much caffeine, too many worries. We go on because we have to. We are powerful and – sometimes, no matter how hard we try – we are powerless.
But it all takes a lot of energy, sometimes too much energy. Energy is an ever-diminishing resource that we know – or should know when we’re thinking clearly – must be replenished. Sleep and food and water, of course, help. But we need to boost our spiritual energy too. The support of friends, the kind word that you didn’t know you needed until someone says it. The person who tells you that you’ve done a good job or handled a situation well or had their back when they need it. The team we all assemble that not only supports us but protects us when we need it.
So let’s focus on eliminating the things that drain our positive energy and block the things that push negative energy onto us. Surround yourself with good and kind people (and please make sure you’re one of those people yourself). Watch a good movie and laugh or cry at the plot. Re-read your favorite book. Treat yourself to something that will make you smile. Help someone who needs it. Accept help from someone who offers it. Sleep more. Worry less (or at least try to worry less). Be your own advocate. Have some ice cream. Hug your kid. Thank your parents. Say please and thank you. Let someone love you. Stop being afraid. Pick up the phone and call someone you miss. Dream big, dream bigger. Smile. Pray. Let go. Let God. All is well.