There are a few groups of people I am secretly jealous of. So secretly, that I decided to post it here, on my blog. These groups are: people with really clean and organized purses, people who are tan all year long, AND…people with lots of energy. the naturally caffeinated.
I’ve always wished I were peppier, since back in the day when I tried out for cheerleading… and didn’t make it…and there were only two girls cut…and come to think of it, they probably needed a few extra cheerleaders. Apparently I was that unpeppy. I’m fine with it, really. I’m totally, totally, over it. Absolutely no remaining feelings of failure here.
But back to the topic, I just hate feeling tired, and (unlike my husband) I do not enjoy napping. Also unlike my husband, I do not enjoy going to the bathroom. Both things, I do because I have to. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. So there you have it.
Recently, I’m feeling more tired than usual. (Sidenote – is that normal right now? My mom claims everyone feels more tired in January. Is that true?? Hmmm.) Which has led to more naps than normal, which has led me to wonder a few things:
- Is it sometimes wrong to take naps? (Insert the sound of my husband laughing in the background.)
- What makes you feel tired some days, and not tired other days? (Insert the broken record answer of my mother, for every. single. problem. you ever have: “It’s the hormones, honey. I promise it’s the hormones.”)
- What should you do on days where you feel tired?
- Why do I feel so guilty when I feel tired?
A long time ago, when I was a teacher, one of my co-workers claimed his wife never, ever napped, and she listed her reason as something along the lines of “laziness doesn’t accomplish anything, blah blah blah….”
I remember thinking that this woman (if she really were a woman, and not some sort of angelic/alien creature) surely, surely developed this conviction AFTER her young children were raised. And it was still a dumb one.
Who knows what she meant, or what she actually did in the past or present. All I know is that those comments twinged in me some conflict that I have over what to do when I’m tired. As I’ve been mulling over this for a few weeks, I’ve come to a few conclusions.
- Naps are like donuts. Sometimes, you should say no. And sometimes, you should just thank the good Lord for all of his many blessings, and eat the whole, jelly-filled, sugar crusted, entire thing. With coffee and heavy cream.
Okay, so the analogy is a little muddled. But here’s what I’m saying. Yesterday, I was just pooped. I’m glad I rested for 20 minutes. Today I was fizzling too, but the best thing I could have done was turn on some peppy music, clean my kitchen, and write some emails. I felt much better than I would have otherwise. It’s hard to know sometimes: nap, or no? Donut, or no? Sometimes I pray for wisdom. That helps.
- Energy is tied to attitude. Think back to college, if you doubt me. Or when you just fell in love. Of course you were tired. But you were so excited, so happy, so thrilled, you just didn’t feel tired. Life was too fun. How does this apply?
Go back to college!When you’re feeling tired, ask yourself, self, am I just bored? What excites me? Think about and plan that! For me, this means when I feel myself getting that “blah,” foggy feeling, I think about the next party coming up, or daydream about the next vacation, or organize my cupboards (sad, but true). I find myself perking right up!
- When you’re honestly just so tired, stop. But stop the right things. Here’s what I mean. On those afternoons when I’m in a foggy daze of exhaustion, usually, I end up mindlessly cleaning up the house and ignoring the kids. Hello!?! That is backwards! This week, still getting over my cold and feeling icky, in the afternoons (instead of trying to do everything at once and getting annoyed at everyone), I just played with my kids! When I was too tired to do that, I just sat down on the couch and watched them! The dishes crusted over and the laundry wrinkled, but I realized: Ty loves organizing things! And Sam actually helps him sometimes! And when Ty is excited, he does this standing-on-his-tippee-toes hop, hop that is just adorable! I realized how infrequently I do just stop and watch my kids. What a shame!
- You can’t help your feelings. If I feel tired, I’m going to consciously fight feeling guilty on top of feeling tired. What an unnecessary load. You can’t help how you feel!
- But you can change your feelings! Actions change feelings. Here are some things that make me feel less tired: a brisk walk, a glass of ice water, talking about something I’m excited about, eating a snack/small meal/big meal, laughing with my kids, a cup of coffee and a banana muffin, a shower, turning on music I love, planning something fun.
ps. here are some things that do NOT make me more energized: checking facebook, paying bills, complaining, thinking about all the moms who are way more productive than me, and answering a series of repeated questions from Sam.