In Search of Energy: 55/365

You know those people who only require six hours of sleep? I’m not one of them. I need a full eight, but I’ll take seven hours if I can get them. If.

I knew I was doomed last night when I stayed up writing until 11:00 pm. Daylight Savings steals that one little hour and my toddler’s circadian rhythm reverts to newborn, waking again and again and again throughout the night, and then rising bright and bouncy at 5:30am.

I am searching for energy everywhere, currently in this giant mug of coffee. But I’m looking at the real energy thieves: lack of exercise, glass of wine, sugar, late bed time. Recently, I’ve taken a serious assessment because I’m desperate for an energy boost. A month ago, I decided a glass or two of wine on the weekends wasn’t worth it and I cut it out completely. I’ve been running five days a week for well over a year. I maintain an organic, no-packaged-food, fruit-and-veggie-rich diet. But I’ve let sugar creep back in, an occasional sweet. Beginning today, I’m eliminating sugar. And I’m going to bed by 10:00 pm. Writing it down seems important.

I’ve noticed that one of the benefits of daily writing is increased mindfulness. It strengthens the ability to consistently pay attention.

If anyone out there has any natural energy-boosting tricks up their sleeves, let me know. As for Daylight Savings and the lost hour, it’s still well worth that extra hour of evening light. Spring is almost here!

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4 thoughts on “In Search of Energy: 55/365”

  1. Wow – you are incredibly disciplined – running, not drinking, supremely healthy diet, cutting sugar. Do you drink enough water? That is almost the #1 thing for me. Also, seizing the moments when you have the most energy and really using those for what matters most &/or requires the most energy. I often find I can get 3x as much done in an hour in the morning compared to the night. (This would embarrass my earlier/pre-kid self, happily playing shows weeknights at 1 am…but…)

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  2. Since this space is all about truth-telling, I will tell you that I strive for discipline and frequently fail! In fact, I had ice cream last night so that no-sugar thing isn’t quite working out for me, but I’m trying. I haven’t had a drink since February, so I’ve at least stuck with that. The not-drinking is more of a for-now than forever thing. Since my writing routine has switched to evenings, there’s just no time for it. I’m also prone to headaches and migraines, and steering clear of alcohol helps.

    Yes, to water! Thank you for the reminder. And so much yes to “seizing the moments when you have the most energy and using those for what matters most and/or requires the most energy.” I completely agree, mornings are when I’m on and at my most efficient.

    I also wonder if breastfeeding is draining me. Isabella still loves to nurse frequently and I try to gently steer her toward water or a snack, but much of the time it’s about comfort and bonding. Neither of us is ready to fully wean, but I’m definitely trying to take it down a few notches because I think it wears me out sometimes. I wonder what your thoughts are on this. Did you have a burst of energy when you stopped nursing your little ones?

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  3. Oh God yes I found it soooo draining (not that it didn’t wrench me and tear me apart to stop…with Petra…found it easier with Wally but I was a working (OUTside the house) Mom with him and though others will take issue with this, there is not the same bond when you’re doing that. There’s just not! How could there be? I mean really. So I had been pumping at work, which was a total pain, and I was headed for London and he was just over a year…it all kind of fit and I stopped…with P I had tried to stop one wkend but then she pulled me back into it and that even made me sadder because it’s like “now I have to have another ‘this is the last time ever?’ moment???” but maybe dragging it out, painful, unbearable, but necessary, was the best way to process it. Yes yes yes to more energy after…God I feel not just the nutrients and everything else they’re sucking but the physical reliance – pregnancy then nursing (you’ve done it a year longer than I did with either – so you are going on 3 years now of that physical constant giving giving giving giving…)- – it’s wonderful you’ve been able to do it this long. There are those rational arguments – weaning will give you more energy to enjoy her, etc. but there are also all the things that pull you back – her little L fingers…little bit more milka…I can’t get P out of the bed at night…but also realize much as I love the idea of more sleep…I don’t want it for that price really. At least not yet.

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    1. Your words restored my sanity (if not my energy) and spoke straight to my heart. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with Wally and Petra, the differences, and how it felt emotionally and physically.

      I hadn’t thought about it being 3 years of “that physical constant giving giving giving giving.” YES. I wrote something recently in my notebook when she was sick and nursing voraciously and I felt so depleted, like I’d been hollowed out… Motherhood, constant, unrelenting. If you are empty, they suck the marrow from your bones. They will find it.

      So dramatic! But I was feeling dramatically depleted. You are the first person to confirm my guess that energy is restored after weaning. I am craving that energy, and as you also point out, the autonomy. But those little fingers, that sweet smile, the peaceful eye-lock…the intense meltdown when I refuse her. She’s just not ready yet. Maybe I’m not either. And I am fortunate enough to be here.

      Thank you for your wisdom – it truly means so much.

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