Dry Well

I’m staring at the screen and searching for inspiration and knowing I have a post due. But what can I write, when I’m feeling tired and my well has gone dry?  What do you have for me to inspire others’ with, Lord, when I’m wondering if I’m inspired myself?  I trace my tiredness and think about the last twenty-four hours; a text from a friend who’d just finished a doctor’s appointment with her mother who’d learned she has breast cancer; a family reunion with so many conversations; my husband diagnosed with flu after recently having pneumonia; me hooked on my first podcast, a true crime investigation that has me going back to listen every chance I get.

Maybe I’ve worn myself down from my own intensity.

My last twenty-four hours hasn’t been unusual; they’re the kinds of things that any of us could have.  But for some of us the way we live our lives, the way we think, and perhaps overthink situations is part of what leaves us feeling depleted.  This reminds me of another time.

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Bike path at Jekyll Island, Georgia

It was a few weeks before my fiftieth birthday.  At that time, between my work, family, and volunteer activities, I was overwhelmed, tired from my over-scheduled life.  I wrote in my journal, “All the good parts of me are dying.”  It was time for me to change the way I was living.

After a lot of thought and prayer, the counsel that came to me was from Psalm 46:10: “Be stilI and know that I am God.”  It was time for me to let go of all that I could so that I had the time and space to be still.  For my birthday present, I’d take a solo journey like the first one to Sedona.

I headed to Jekyll Island, Georgia and now think of the ways I was renewed there.  I drew away from others to be alone.  While I love spending time with family and friends, I can also feel drained, finding it hard to moderate my energy, having a tendency to take on their concerns more than necessary.  I need to balance time with others and time with self, like a human equation.

Much of my day at Jekyll was spent in quiet.  I’d ride my bike on the path around the island, walk under the shade of the live oaks and mostly encounter the sounds of nature or people talking when they passed.  At night, I could watch television in my hotel room, but like my podcast, I had control of that noise.

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Marsh loop

The other thing I remember about Jekyll was that I had to remind myself, “Slow Down.  You don’t need to be in a hurry.”  I was so used to feeling like I had to be on a schedule, constantly productive, that it was hard for me to relax.  While I’m at a different point in my life now, retired from full-time work and writing at home, it’s a different kind of busy.  But still, it’s the same me who tends to wear myself out.

So, I come back around to my starting point and think about how my Jekyll Island journey applies to me now.  I do a post-mortem of the last twenty-four hours.  Like it is for everyone, some days are more intense than others.  But tomorrow’s a new day when I can find ways to balance the equation.  There will be time to be alone, relax in silence, and fill my idea well.

Now, I’m thankful for what my Jekyll Island Journey taught me and that this post is written!

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View of the Atlantic from a driftwood beach

What about you?

How do you handle feeling depleted, uninspired?

 What patterns do you see in your life for how you arrive at that point?

What ways have you learned to restore yourself?

 

 

12 thoughts on “Dry Well

  1. Hi Connie – I felt like a dry well after a very busy summer with the most awful dreary and depressing weather. My solution was to take inspiration from you actually – I decided to go away and spend time alone for 2 weeks. My family thought I had lost the plot and was in a middle of a break-down or mid-life crisis. I think in hindsight both were probably true – but time alone with only myself to consider, think about and care for was the best tonic and way to nurture myself and find equilibrium. The weather was still rubbish but the solitude and the peace was wonderfully inspirational especially as there was no telephone contact or internet to intrude on my thoughts and time – just wonderful log burning fires, simple wholesome food, wind, rain, the sea, mountains, beach and lots of wee birds, walks and refreshing sleep. Bliss 🙂
    I’m already booked to go away again at the end of this year – can’t think why I haven’t done it before!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jane,
      Your retreat sounds wonderful! I’m glad you took the time you needed– especially a period of two weeks so you had long enough to settle into a rhythm. I think that women are caregivers in so many roles that they need to totally remove themselves to get to the nurture they need. Good for you that you’ve scheduled ‘your time’ for the upcoming year. Thanks for reading and for sharing how you’ve found this way to care for yourself. You deserve it! Best to you, Connie

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    • Hi Wendy,
      Thanks so much for your encouraging words of support. Yes, bearing one another’s burdens can take its toll on us. You’ve given me permission to take a quiet day alone, and that will help me to give myself that permission. So thanks! We all need to do that for one another. Best to you, Connie

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Connie, I know the feeling of Dry Well. The well is not dry. Your draw-pipe has not reached the water. The purpose of the pipe being high is to keep the silt and mud from the drinking water. With our minds, we need to drop that into the Mud and Cleanse that water at the top. Well, that is how I have learned to deal with it.
    You are blessed.
    John

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for that explanation of how a draw-pipe (I didn’t know that term and have never seen one!) works. I like the reminder to draw deeper into the water, without taking in the things that clog the pipe. Good that you’ve learned how to deal with it. Thanks for reading and responding. Best to you, Connie

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  3. Oddly enough Connie, I felt much the same way today as you share in your writing. Additionally for me, I think that the cold weather also influences how I feel. I also shared with some others in the past 2 days that I believe that for families whose loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, it may be harder for the families to watch helplessly as they drift away more than for the patient. The patient’s mind may have them in a more content place without any awareness of the problems of life. Keep up the good writing. H

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    • I think you’re right, Harriet, that watching our Mama slowly change is harder for us than her. While our family reunion was a nice time of reconnection, it’s also a bittersweet reminder of time marching on, of those who aren’t with us, and of the family struggles within each family represented. Heavy stuff. And you’re right, it can feel even heavier because of how the cold, gray weather impacts mood. Thanks for sharing your feelings and for encouraging me to keep writing, even when I feel it’s hard to do. Connie

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