Sunday, August 5, 2012

Keeping the energy flow . . .

You know I just love those old muscle cars.  Do you remember all those 50's and 60's cars running at the drag strips across the country.  When I was in my 20's and 30's I was going at top speed just like those old cars were in their day.  But then I hit my 40's and I hit rock bottom with CFS/FMS.  As the years have gone by I have spent time longing for those days when energy was in abundant supply and I took it for granted.  I have found that as I age I take less and less for granted and appreciate life's little moments.  I have a number of strategies for keeping my energy flow going.  I have learned to temper my activity even though I have a day with a little more energy.  I savor those days and don't run around like a wild woman depleting my energy bank, because I know I will be in negative numbers the next day.  I always set a few goals for the next day instead of fretting over the long list of things that need to be done.  The stress of fretting is harmful and after all I get to set up the rules.  Right?  I listen to my body carefully and respect the messages it is conveying to my brain, which used to override anything my body had to say.  In the end the body rules and when the brain doesn't listen to
the messages, the body rebels with a vengence.  I set up time for rest throughout my day and I no longer push myself through the pain and fatigue.  I avoid overbooking my schedule to give myself lots of flexibility.  If I have an appointment during the day or the evening, I avoid setting up additional appointments for that day so I limit stress and I have the ability to moderate my activity.  I make sure there are activities in my day that bring me joy and stimulate my brain to think and learn.  The brain is an energy drain and requires lots of nutritional foods so I pay attention to my diet and I also moderate the work my brain does each day or I build in extra rest periods.  Keeping my spirits up is critical in maintaining my energy.  When spirits sag and depression seeps in it zaps energy and a downward spiral begins.

So I started out talking about the old muscle cars.  I identify with these old cars because their spirit is in the right place, but their bodies don't always keep up.  That old '55 Chevy is so beautiful and no one would ever know just by looking at her that she has a bad bearing, which makes the left rear tire rub the fender when she turns a corner.  And her gears are so low that when she gets on the freeway she needs another gear.  After all, she was designed to run a short track and not for the long haul, just like my brief spurts of energy that won't get me through an entire day.  And that old '55 Chevy has left me at the side of the road a number of times, because being an old girl she can be a little tempermental and unreliable.  So I go to a car show with her and we relax together in the shade and talk to people about how good we once were.  After all, she ran just over 11 seconds in the quarter mile and 128 mph in her day . . . and so did I.  Great memories!

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