Sid and I recently returned from a five day stay in our RV while we airbnbed our house. We had worked so hard to ready our home and then been living from suitcases while RVing place to place that we were exceptionally happy to finally be home. My sister had invited us to join her and her husband on a long weekend getaway the following weekend. Spending time with my sister is at the top of the list as well as time together as couples. However, we were so tired from our wanderings that it didn’t feel like something we really wanted to do after all. Too long of a distance, I had work to do to get ready to speak at the UMJC conference which is two days after we would return, too much travel, our dogs may not get along. The trip felt like a burden instead of a blessing, so I warned my sister that we probably wouldn’t go.
Then dawned the new morning. Yes, with refreshed bodies and spirits, the trip still had these challenges. Yet, we are preparing to go for Sid and I now could feel the joy that would come with being with our loved ones.
My ex-husband used to say to me when our babies cried, “You should take care of the baby. His (or her; we had three) crying doesn’t bother you as much. At the time, I thought this was a lame excuse. Yet as I observed his disposition, over time I came to understand there was truth in what he said. His genetic wiring was such that little annoyances felt huge, so a baby’s crying felt especially irritating.
We each have our own unique wiring. By nature, I am fairly upbeat and active. And it takes a lot to irritate or get me down. So when I’m tired and little things seem big, or I feel negative, I can recognize the difference in how I am perceiving life. When I’m feeling like I was when we returned from our trip, it gives me an appreciation for what it must feel like to others who perhaps are more inclined to feel down more generally, or may even struggle with depression. Life to me then, and life to those inclined more negatively, or even just when fatigued, really seems overwhelming. We feel tired, that we can’t do something. Little annoyances seem larger. It’s not a pleasant feeling.
All of us experience these down moments. They are part of life. And some of us feel them much of the time. So what to do. . .
First, assuming there is not a true chemical imbalance needing something more, it’s important to recognize that you’re just plain tired and don’t try to problem solve at that moment. Sleeping on it really is great advice.
Take care of yourself. Strive for regular sleep. Make good food choices.
Learn to recognize the signs you are tired – the subtle, or not so subtle, mood changes, and don’t take your fatigue out on others. The inability to make a decision is often a clue that you’re too tired.
Don’t make a decision when you’re feeling this way. And if feeling this way is your normal, recognize it. That is step one to making a change, even if a little one, for each of us is different and that’s okay. The goal is to be able to live the most godly life you can.
Work on compassion . Being cognizant of how life feels when we’re down helps us to understand how others feel who may live in that space more often than they would like. Obtaining this perspective, walking in your brother’s and sister’s shoes, is one of the most important points of the experience.
Fortify your prayer world. Live in a space of gratitude for HaShem’s many blessings. It is an elixir.
Life is as we perceive it. And our perceptions are a product of our genetic wiring as well as our responses to our environment, i.e., our well being at the time, which is shaped by how healthy we are mentally, physically, and spiritually. As life’s stresses drag you down, don’t be blindsided by the toll it takes on your sense of well being. Instead, get a great night’s sleep and awake singing His praises. For if you do, you will be ready for a truly beautiful . . .