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.
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.
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!
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?