Last weekend, I was pretty busy. I ran an errand in the morning, came back home and organized our pantry, to later go to a baby shower and then go out to dinner. On Sunday, I went for a quick jog in the morning, watched church, and met with some friends for a play date. After all was said and done, I was happy. I told a friend that it made me feel human.
My packed weekend, of very ordinary activities, gave me perspective of what life should be. My desire is to be productive most of the day, but the reality is that I have to push myself to accomplish a few things, feel drained by dinner time, and finally plop in front of a screen panting for breath. Then many days after I realize that my evenings have not provided value for me. I lick my wounds by saying that it is okay to relax, and try harder the next day to just get the same result.
I have spoken before about intrinsically wanting to live like a couch potato while also wanting to get stuff done. I have referred to dedicating only 10 minutes to your desired task in order to keep yourself going. I have previously realized how doing nothing is just counterproductive because while I think that I am relaxing, I remain empty handed for my battle the next day. What I had not realized was that there was a missing piece in the puzzle. Due to the age of my little one, the pandemic, and to be honest my inclination to be home, I was working on growth fueled by my desire only, and not using the resource of support of those around me.
I believe in the power of community, but one has to leverage it to experience it. Leaving the house, being surrounded by people and connecting with others energized me. My time was not spent living in a fictional set or scrolling the night away. I was in a comfortable setting with others and enjoyed myself to the extent that Monday came around and I was ready to start the week.
Productivity needs different elements in order to bloom. Our desire isn’t enough. Our planning tools aren’t enough. We also need to be energized in order to push forward. Now, we have to find where that energy comes from. I can say that having every weekend like the one referenced would actually make me not want to see people for a while. However, spending time with others helped me get out of myself to learn about what is going on in the life of those I care about, also to discuss the things that are important to all of us, and just pass time together. I was sharing my free time with others and in return was able to celebrate people, share my parenting responsibilities, and get fed (always a win!). It got a great return on my investment.
When we are burnt out, which perfectly describes my state as of late, we want to run for the hills with an umbrella drink and don’t come back for a while. Those periods are most certainly needed, but we might not have to go that far for a long time. A day doing an activity we enjoy, or spent at the beach with a friend, or cooking a delicious meal, can feed our groove and help us keep going. Find your energy source and keep it close.