Saturday, January 13, 2007

The energy crisis

(I had to resurrect this post from December of 05. I guess I have been tired for longer than I thought, although I'm actually beginning to feel better, and I have a bit more energy than I did when I initially wrote this. Maybe I have been ill longer than I knew.

It's also interesting to note that of the 15-odd comments that were posted then, only one or two blogs are still in existence. It's an interesting, fluid place, this land of Blog. I still appreciate all of the kindness and friendship, whether old, new, short-lived, or ever-present.)

I was thinking about blogs yesterday.

I thought about the amount of time I spend reading blogs.

I thought about the amount of time I have spent creating my own.

I wondered why. Why am I drawn to this medium? Why do I feel compelled to read new entries by people I have never met? What makes me feel compelled to write entries for people to read that have no idea who I am?

I think it has finally dawned on me. I am so tired, blogging is the only way I can connect with people without having to expend alot of energy. Energy that I just don't have anymore.

There was a time when I had friends . . . real friends. I don't have any anymore. My friendships have all died, like untended houseplants. If I had made more of an effort, if I had only had more energy, I might have been able to salvage some of my friendships.

But that was the point, really. All of my friendships seemed to be incredibly labor-intensive for me. Exerting energy was what had sustained them. As soon as I stopped trying, they all faded away.

But were they really that draining? Was it really that hard to maintain friendships with real people? Was it just that I grew too tired to try anymore? Or was it that I had somehow managed to pick really needy friends?

It's strange to think about. I faded away from the reality of friends that I had known for years, and really, none of them has ever come looking for me.

I'm not angry about it. Maybe they have to conserve their energy, too.

Having limited energy is something I never really thought about before. As I get older, I find that it hits my consciousness alot. I tend to arrange my life according to how much energy I have to expend. For instance, I grocery shop in a way that covers the store in the shortest distance without any backtracking over areas that I have been before. It is a pattern that I took the time to mentally arrange. I shop at a store that unloads your cart at the register and carries the groceries to your car for you. I made this decision because it meant that I only had to pick up the groceries twice: once from the shelf, and once from the car, versus 4 times: once from the shelf, once from the cart onto the belt, once from the buggy into the car, and once from the car to the kitchen.

I sold a small, two story house and bought a larger, more expensive one story house primarily because the energy I had to expend going up and down the stairs was too much for me. Granted, we were growing out of the house, but when we were looking for a new house, I would only look at ranches, no exception. That decision was governed by my energy level, or lack thereof.

When I was younger, energy seemed endless. I never worried about how far out I parked my car, or how long a day I had, or how much sleep I missed over a weekend, or how much work I was facing, or what kind of support my friends needed from me. I just lived, and whatever came along, I handled it. In most cases, I went overboard, multitasking, slaying dragons right and left and all the while keeping up with everything swirling around me.

I find I can't do that anymore. I can't keep my house clean. I can't keep my laundry caught up. I can't manage to keep piles of neglected paperwork from forming all around my desk. I can't seem to summon the will to go to the park with my kids.

These days, I won't accept a job unless I can work at home.

I don't invite family and friends for dinner anymore. My house used to be the gathering spot for my whole family, friends too. I would whip up beautiful dinners, effortlessly, and run through my house like a tornado, making sure everything was clean and comfortable. It was something that I really enjoyed doing, and slowly, slowly, so slow I didn't realize it was happening, I became worn down and no longer had the energy or the desire it took to organize things like that.

I can't fathom how I am going to continue to be productive for the next 20 years, raising my kids and delivering what will be expected of me.

I don't know how much longer I can count on my body to last. And that is a scary thought. I never, never thought I would be this tired, this sore, this slow this young.

Sometimes, I find things that help. A hot bath, a nap, painkillers, caffeine. Short-lived respite. They help me cope for the moment.

So, dear blogger friends, I want to say, after all of this, that I appreciate you. You give me friendship in the only way that I can seemingly cope with it - virtually, delivered to my lap, without having to try very hard to be allowed into your lives, or welcome you into mine.

You all mean more than you will ever know.


Jack said...

No charge.

rash said...

The Internet: Cheaper Than a Gym Membership

And without all the creepy guys in spandex admiring themselves in the wall o' mirrors while Guns 'N Roses plays over the PA.

OneEar said...

You might want to check out the IHATECLOWNS site linked at my blog

Robyn said...

I love reading your blog, and it seems like I have been a fan for at least a year and a half! You've been through a lot lately, and it's no wonder you are worn out. Take care of yourself and know we are all out here supporting you.

theKirkness said...

i got up to the 3rd or 4th paragraph.. i just wanted to say, ironicly blogging seems to be making me lose friendships.

my girlfriend says im becoming anti-social.

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