Saturday, May 16, 2015

Definitely Lacking in Energy

Recently I had lunch with a large group of women here in the city.  I have been so busy rejoicing in my "abundance" of energy over the past year and a half that I still forget how slow and lacking in energy I actually am compared to other women in my age group.  Someone asked me what plans I have for the autumn, once we are more organized here and holidays are over for the summer.  I mentioned a couple of low energy volunteer ideas I have and everyone kind of looked at me with rather shocked expressions on their I had the plague or something.  Then someone timidly asked me what else I would be doing.  Sigh...When I responded that there wasn't anything else actually, she gave an embarrassed little chuckle and the conversation moved on to other topics. For the rest of the afternoon I wasn't really included in the conversations. Perhaps it was just as well because I had nothing else to say that could keep pace with these incredibly busy women, who are no busier than most other women, it is just that I hadn't realized how far behind I have fallen at this point.  No one was bragging about how busy they are, no one was particularly proud of all they do, there were no pissing contests going on to see who could top who in the Department of Busy.  They are simply normal middle aged women who are able to maintain a level of activity that I haven't been able to achieve. I couldn't have kept up their levels of activity even as a child.

I suppose all the chronic and life long health issues I have do play into my energy level rather intensely.  When I list all those conditions I feel very strange about having so many things wrong.  As a rule I am by myself quite a bit and never think about how busy or not busy I am each day.  It is most disconcerting though to be with a group of average women and realize they can run rings around me in every way.  It all began with childhood asthma that kept me out of the social loop relatively often and so for me, life is actually better as an adult even with the added health issues as the asthma has nearly disappeared.

My fear is that people who don't have energy level problems don't understand how they can effect a person's life.  I hate it when people ask me why I do so little every day, why I am not out of the house running hither and yon doing all manner of important work, because I can't explain without giving my "organ recital" of all that is wrong with my health.  It sounds like I am either making it up, or using health as more of an excuse than a reason for inactivity, or feeling sorry for myself, or really into talking about myself as the centre of the universe, or just plain lazy.  Sigh....

So while they are working daily at full time jobs, volunteering their evenings and weekends to all manner of wonderful clubs and committees and service organizations, baby sitting the grandchildren, etc. etc. etc., I am sitting here amazed that this morning I am strong enough for the first time in my life to take the winter studded tires out of the trunk of the car and haul them up the back steps into the suite and then down more steps into the basement...2 tires at a time.  These are the "huge accomplishments" that fill my days.

I am going to have to be very careful not to let myself become discouraged nor depressed by my lack of interesting contributions to group conversation.  


Penny said...

definitely DO NOT compare yourself to others who are soooooo busy that they just don't have a clue how to deal with quiet restful time. I still struggle to slow down and rest and to recognize that there are times I just can't go on any further, that sitting in my chair and resting quietly is all the energy I have time for.

I read somewhere recently about the characteristics of an introvert and realized that it was talking about me - I have short bursts of energy that is a pale imitation to most women and men I interact with. It surprised me then I realized I was comparing myself to them and thinking that I really did like the quiet times I am learning to take. It is so sad.

there are times I so miss interacting with others, the socializing, the conversations, the people contact, that I tended to feel lonely. I am coming to terms with that....God is ok with me slowing down, and so is Ken....and I will stick with that now, with a comfort level I have never had before.

BTW do you want to go to a snail race? that seems pretty fast in my opinion, just about my speed!


Susan said...

I hear you my friend! I too am learning not to compare, but it was sure hard this past week. I am going to start training myself to read for an hour every day NOT at bedtime and see what that does for me. I think it will be a good thing and slow my mind down a bit.

Penny said...

it is hard not to compare...and not to feel the subtle change in what appears to be a change in attitude from the busy group towards people like you and I....we have a completely different approach to things, and it is based on a hidden disability....on the surface we "appear to be normal" but you and I both know that this "apparently normal appearance" is not realistic.

hang in there, enjoy your book and I am going to head back to the living room to try and slow down....I am deeply exhausted, emotionally and physically and just have no stuffin' left to keep going

chris e. said...

Ahhhh...hear what wonderful words our energy-compromised friends have to offer!
It's rough having very little energy--and rougher yet when you have to interact with those who have an overabundance!
Having also been a low-energy person for most of my life, I have made a few positive observations about the situation:
-you become better organized
-you have a better grasp of what's important
-you become calmer
-you understand 'less is more' regarding house size and possessions just because of the energy required to maintain them
There is a whole subculture of people with compromised health and less energy, it's just that most of us try and keep quiet about it. Speak up about it and you either get condemnation for being lazy, or have 'do-gooders' dragging you out and about so you'll get past your bad attitude and energy up. Yeesh! It's no wonder we keep our mouths shut and try and pass ourselves off as normal.
Your post was so timely! After hearing the litany of programmes our church wants volunteers for I was once again feeling like I should 'be doing more.' I need to remind myself that for me that's just a euphemism for 'wearing myself out.'