There’s an old saying – “if you want a task done, give it to a busy person”.
Which makes a kind of sense when you think about it. I find there are few things in this world so frustrating as downtime. I have oomtiple hobbies and habits, from cooking ridiculously complex meals to weaving, creating bead jewellery, tending my garden in the sky, drawing, illustrating, writing, sometimes editing Gar’s webcomic (Neko the Kitty, it’s good fun!), this blog, college and teaching myself ukulele and massage, all on top of my full time job and way too many pets. I’m terrible at sitting down and watching TV and usually within the first 20 minutes of an episode of something or a film I’m on my computer or Kindle, weaving another necklace or otherwise doing something with my hands (though I will admit to giggling my way through my newest Deadpool for over an hour last night). In fact, the only time I slow down is when I finally collapse into bed or when my kidneys stage their annual assassination attempt (this last one? two weeks out of work – the cabin fever is indescribable!).
It’s not just me though. My mother and sister are the same, always busy, as are several of my friends. There’s too much energy to expend and too much life to be lived to sit and do nothing!
But when do you do when that energy runs out?
What happens when you hit that point where there is so much to be done, or so much that you want to do, that you can’t do anything?
The answer is tricky.
Is there anything that actually needs to be done right now? Then do it. Is there anything that you’ve been wanting to do for a while and this might be your only chance for another while? Then do it. Is there something you’ve really been looking forward to doing? Then do it.
However, if it’s something that doesn’t need to be done, let it be. If it’s something you should do but isn’t urgent, let it be. If it’s something you’ve been wanting to do, but don’t want to do as much as you want to lay on the couch with a cat purring on your belly, then let it be.
Sometimes, especially in high energy people, the batteries just flatline. We go so hard and for so long that our bodies quit on us. The spirit is still fired up and willing, but the flesh is staging a peaceful protest. And you know what? This is a good thing. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we aren’t machines, that we need rest and down time and cats-on-the-couch days. It’s all too easy to keep going and ignore the flagging energy that comes of trying to do too much or attributing it to a poor night’s sleep, and that way lies madness. That way lies illness.
Of course, for those prone to depressive episodes this lack of energy or malaise of the spirit can be a symptom of something more sinister, and if the apathy continues it’s worth exploring further, but if you just need to crash for a few days, do it. Recharge your batteries with a Netflix Archer marathon. Get up early and nap on the couch all day with a cat or three on your belly. Take a mental health day off work. Convince your loving partner/mother/room mate to make thai food happen so you don’t have to cook. More than anything though, listen to your exhausted body. It asks for so little in return for giving you so much.
Love your body. Pet it gently while it recovers. Regard it with affectionate exasperation if you must, but above all, be kind to it.