Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Pushing ourselves

Yesterday was a bit of a tough day, I was just beat. Driving out to visit my cousin was a wonderful time and so very worth the effort but it just wore me out. Got in a good nap yesterday and slept a full 12 hours last night but am still feeling worn out. This tired worn out feeling is different from I have experienced in years gone by and is hard to describe other than just worn out, done in, no energy.

Life is a balancing act. Our precious time is what we seem to try to balance the most. Often trying to balance  our time between our jobs or outside commitments and our family or personal time. How much time can be spent doing this or that and it never seems to be enough. Balance is so very important in everything from our emotions right down to our bank accounts and spending.

For me the big balancing act is between getting enough rest and just plain old doing things. Now that sounds like it should be easy, rest when you are tired. Now that is advise everyone should use. Rest when you are tired and accept that energy levels may vary from day-to-day. But, how many of us do that, how many of us can afford to do that? We have jobs, family all sorts of commitments that often force us to push ourselves to meet our obligations. I am at the point in my life where I realize proper rest is critical for my body. I suppose I am in a lucky position in that I have very few obligations that actually require much or any energy from me. I could in fact spend all of each day just sitting around or lying around watching TV or reading and napping. Actually, I do spend much of my day doing exactly that.

I have written of how I like to do what I still can. This is where my balancing act comes into play. More often than not my energy level is about zero and I have to push myself to do almost anything. I wonder sometimes if even a bit of laziness might not be sneaking in. I mean there really is nothing I have to do and no one would blame me if I didn’t do it so why bother? For me that answer is easy, I makes me feel useful, that I am accomplishing something, contributing something.

Over the years my definition of accomplishing something has changed. My past thoughts had always been that to accomplish something it had to be something big or really worth while.I have come to realize that depending on circumstances accomplishing something can be as “small” as changing a light bulb. Never stop  doing what  you can.

One of my bench mark accomplishments of late has been cutting the grass, mowing the lawn. In my  mind I have the lawn all divided up into little sections. I do one little section, rest before moving on to the next. I tackled the lawn yesterday and I think for the first time wasn’t able to get it finished. Keeping a positive out look, well I accomplished cutting about 1/2 of the lawn, I do have today to finish it.

Questions, how hard should we push ourselves? How hard do you push yourself? How necessary are the things in your life that you push yourself for? How do you determine what is a healthy balance in pushing youself and what do you do about it?

4 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Pushing ourselves

  1. Nic says:

    Bill, sometimes I think you read my mind. I have a poem that one of my friends sent me that I think you will appreciate. I’ll send that to you privately.

    There are things worth that little extra effort and tiring yourself out. I visit friends and family far away once a year or so and while it’s tough and I am exhausted for days after to me it’s worth it. Sometimes you need to still feel like yourself, even if it comes with a little higher price tag some days.

    You are so right there are times when it is just worth the effort as it was for me this week. I received your email, that message contained within explained so much in such a clear manner. I thank you for sending it.

  2. Mel says:

    This (the ‘balance’ thing) I do not know how to do.
    I do know how to ‘rest when weary’. And the Big Guy seems to make arrangements for those ‘rest’ moments–He just clears my agenda for the day. LOL

    Seriously–it’s rarely about ‘accomplishing’ things now, though I do like an end product! Nowadays it’s more about being available for others than it is about ‘tasks’ (which is kinda cool when I stop to think about it). Maybe He figures I’ve done enough ‘tasky’ stuff–or maybe He just knows I’m a bit anal about tasks…..LOL Maybe it’s just Him letting me know what He want’s my time and energy stuck into, eh?

    I do agree with Nic. There are times that it’s ‘worth’ the zapped energy–like your trip to see Faye.

    Mel, as always you are right. Life is not about accomplishing things, no matter how big or small. It is about living, spending time with family and friends.

  3. pattiredd says:

    I think we sometimes push ourselves too hard because of the need to “overcompensate” or that familiar “denial” thing! I think a little less pushing myself is better than pushing too much…but yet, I don’t listen to my own advice very often!

    Sometimes I get to the point where I just lay down and fall apart. Then, I know that I’ve pushed myself too hard…kind of hard to miss when you get to that point, huh?

    It’s important to spend quality time with family and friends but to put our health in worse shape to do so, is probably a mistake! But, hey, we do what we do!

    Hi patti, I find the balancing thing difficult particularly as my physical limits seem to be ever decreasing. Somehow in my mind just sitting back and really doing nothing would be akin to giving up and that I am not prepared to do.

  4. Cat says:

    Having a chronic illness makes the balancing act tougher. I have had to learn how to tell people “no” when they invite me to do things, and not be guilted into saying “yes.” I basically adhere to a set schedule every week, and I don’t like to deviate from it much because otherwise I get too worn out too quickly. Monday through Thursday is my work week, and I don’t ever do any social things or errands of any sort on work nights. I come home, take care of the pets, and relax. Fridays are my errand day — grocery shopping, PetCo, vet appointments, etc. Friday evenings and Saturdays are reserved for social time, so that’s when I schedule dinner plans with friends or family, movie dates, parties, etc. Sundays are my stay at home day to do laundry, take out the trash, do whatever other housework needs to be done, and spend the evening resting up for the work week. I refuse to leave the house on Sunday.

    I’ll make rare exceptions for special events (a milestone birthday party, seeing friends or family who are in from out of town for only a short time, etc.), but otherwise I decline all invitations for days other than Friday or Saturday. It’s hard to say “no” sometimes and miss out on fun events, but I’ve had to learn how to do so in order to function.

    So, it took some time for me to figure it out, but this schedule works well for me and gives me a good balance between work, socializing, and rest.

    One thing I do not do is cut my own lawn — I hire someone to do that for me. I’m impressed that you mow your own, Bill — even getting halfway done is an accomplishment, for sure!

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