There is no doubt in my mind that I have less energy than I used to. In some ways this is good. It has made me wiser, more deliberate, and more focused at work. Instead of throwing seeds into the wind and hoping they grow, I plant rows and rows of seeds into the core aspects of our academic program.
At home, I take really good care of Aria. I spend lots of time playing with her, make all her food myself, and ensure she has a clean room, clean sheets, and clean clothes. I keep her engaged in something for as long as she is awake, and often holder her close as she sleeps.
This is where it starts getting less impressive. This is where the deep fatigue starts blocking things. DH and I realized last week looking through the Paprika app that I’ve only introduced a handful of new recipes in the past year. I leave most of the cooking and cooking creativity to him. I used to show my love for him through my cooking, now I do that for Aria instead.
DH has gotten all too used to my falling asleep before 9 or during movies. I get this tell-tale look when my body starts lurching. Earlier in the year he lamented the lonely hours he often spends himself after I’ve drifted off to sleep hours before him. Now he offers kindly for me to go to bed and get the rest I seem to so desperately need. A good debate or conversation into the night is like a nugget of gold discovered in the rivers of California decades after the gold rush was done.
I wake up feeling tired. I never used to feel that way. I used to wake up early and write whole novels or workout. Now I wake up early, get things ready for Aria to go to school, and scrape out some extra time on a project at work.
You can see where this is going. In my fatigue I have less and less to give. Aria and work get the best of me, next comes DH, then comes me. By the time I get to myself, I am left with scraps of energy. My attention is scattered between that thing I might do for myself and keeping my eyes on my little girl.
At a certain point, I lost the energy to workout regularly, post on my blog, write my novels, and other things I’d care not to mention. If I read, it’s going to be Siri reading a Kindle book to me during my 45-75 minute drive to work. When I get up early on a Saturday mornings, it’s usually to finish up a class on business analytics while Aria climbs in and out of bins in the nursery.
So, writing this, maybe I don’t do any less than I used to. I just feel so tired doing it all. In my last job, I used to walk a mile and a half every day and workout a couple of times a week. For a stretch after Aria was six months I would get up every couple of days and workout. Now I feel so weary at the thought it.
I feel like my body and soul are atrophying. My willpower feels especially weak.
As a teen, I watched my mom physically deteriorate. At twenty I watched her get buried after a gastrobypass turned out to be too much for her weakened heart.
I don’t want to go out that way. I feel weak to stop it. I could get all the advice in the world right now and only be able to stare at it helplessly.
So I guess I don’t want advice. I want to know when it gets better and how it got better for you. I want to be enough for Aria and for DH. Now and always.
My daughter is here laughing in my arms. I smile and laugh with her. Tired though I may be, this has been the best year of my life. It joins the last three years as the best time of my life. Personally and professionally. I couldn’t ask for more.
Perhaps I just need to step back and take a deep breath and remember that. And then go for a walk!