Tiredness doesn’t just come as a result of a few late nights – or nights disturbed by young children waking up. It can be the culmination of a particularly stressful or demanding six months or two years.
Of course, I don’t mean to say stresses or demands are wrong. They’re normal for most of us, but when I’m tired I am not so likely to make good choices. My perspective slips out of focus, and I see things subtly distorted from what they really are. Better to deal with the weariness than mess up the future with an inadequate decision or an unnecessarily damaging conversation. That’s not what I want at all.
When I’m tired it’s best to be honest with myself, and schedule some rest. Although I’m not ashamed to let my sense of ‘not making it’ be seen by those close to me, there is no need to make a public announcement, or brag about how tired
I am due to the work I do (so proudly). One reason I’m on this earth is to encourage and inspire people and feed them, not demand sympathy strokes. Those close to me know that I know how I am, and kindly pull out a few extra stops and support me (just as I regularly do for them when they are feeling weary) and suggest I take a break!
Elsewhere on this blog I describe my motorbike trips round Europe. On a biking trip, particularly in the early part, I am surprised at how much I sleep. In the first week I climb into my sleeping bag at about 8.30pm and with no alarm providing a false dawn I find I sleep until nine the next morning! It sometimes takes almost a week of going to bed when the sun goes down and allowing myself to wake naturally before I feet properly rested and start to wake to the birds singing, and feel energised for the day.
It is following such weeks that I am able to focus again on the deep simple things of life, and feed from them. As the tiredness is finally assuaged, I automatically begin to look forward to the future again. Riding on a motorbike is a solitary thing for me, and I love the peacefulness of my own company (inside my helmet!) as I ride through the seemingly limitless miles of natural beauty waiting for those who choose to notice it. With the tiredness gone, I notice more – I am more sensitive to the nuances of colour and shape in the countryside around me. Long distance biking means travelling for hundreds – thousands – of miles through new territory, touched by the power of endless unexpected vistas, a constant flow of mountains, fiords, forests, streams, lakesand valleys.
The days become lighter somehow, more worth living, more inspirational. I notice the better bits of life, rather than the less pleasant ones. As each one reminds me that life can be very good, I am again seduced by the hope of tomorrow and what is possible for me if I’m willing to engage. By taking time out for rest and recreation (it is literally re-creation for body and brain as it renews itself in those rest times) I discover a healthier perspective of my place and role in the world, find people that much more appealing, and realise again just how good it is to be alive.
It’s summer. Be kind to yourself. Take a rest and find your future again.