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Archive for March, 2010

Fatigue

You know, fatigue is a fairly complex thing. I think of it as  a continuum. Most people are what I would consider to be mildly fatigued – the fatigue that comes from not getting quite enough sleep most nights – too many obligations, too little rest. Have you ever gone on vacation, and the longer you were there, the more fatigued you became? This is because your vacation was not long enough – just long enough for the fatigue you had been suppressing for so long to catch up with you. You needed two more weeks of restful vacation to actually get caught up.  Most of our society exists at this stage of the continuum. You can still function “normally” – you just always feel like you need more sleep.

Further along the contiuum is what I call grouchy fatigue. This is past the general tiredness that most of us have from being overcommitted.   This happens when you lost most of a night’s sleep. Or most of two nights’ sleep. Not everyone manifests grouchiness in this stage – my husband, for example, doesn’t get as grouchy as I do, but functioning is definitely impaired at this level. Forgetfulness is greatly increased, as are math skills (especially in my case)!

The next level is extreme fatigue. When you get this tired, apathy ensues. You are simply too tired to care. Ever been there? What about after that first baby – the shock of losing several hours sleep each night for weeks on end…what about working several nights in a row, with little sleep in between, and committments preventing you from getting the sleep you need? When I get this tired, I don’t even care about breathing any more. This fatigue is so palpable that seemingly involuntary bodily functions like digestion and breathing become major efforts. If I have to stay up on the day after working several nights in a row, I am too tired to eat, too tired to breathe, and the house could burn down around my ears and I’d be too tired to lift a finger to save it. This may seem like an exaggeration, but anyone who’s ever been that tired knows what that apathy feels like.

The amazing thing is that I don’t know how tired the human body would have to get before it totally shuts down. I joke about the house burning down around my ears and not caring, but the truth is, that if called upon, no matter how tired one is, one can still muster something with which to respond. One man that inspires me is Richard Donovan, the Irishman who in 2009 ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven consecutive days. He flew over 26,000 miles in addition to all the running. He didn’t sleep at all for the first three days and what rest and food he eventually got was only on airplanes. When I get tired, I think of this man. So far, I’ve not had to do anything that exhausting, and I have never had to go more than 32 hours without at least some sleep.

I’m learning that you can function with a lot less sleep than you ever thought you could. Yes, ideally, we’d all be well-rested. There are times and places in your life for that. For me, now is not one of those times. As a homeschooling mother of two working full times nights, there is little rest for the weary. Not yet. I’m in my busy, tired years. They may linger on for a while yet. I have never heard of someone being so tired they died of fatigue. I’ve always said that I’d rather burn out than rust out. Don’t think there’s any danger of rusting out any time soon….

You have to  be careful when you’re tired. You need to know what you can and cannot do. I try to not drive long distances, and if I need to drive more than 15 minutes, to open a window, or play some music. You need to watch how you deal with things – you will overreact because your emotions feel a lot closer to the surface. Truth is, it’s not your emotions at all – just fatigue. Many times I’ve said “I’ll think about this later, after I’ve had some sleep.” You can postpone dealing with something if you’re too tired to be rational.

Soooo….if you’re in a stage of your life that requires you to function on a lot less sleep than you believe you need, know that you can get by on a lot less. You can still enjoy life despite the fatigue. Re-prioritize…maybe some of those things don’t really need to be done. The opportunity to sleep will come around again. Sleep when you can. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s no use to stress about not sleeping. I’ve learned that I can stay up for 24 hours with little effort and the help of one cup of coffee. The opportunity to sleep will come, sooner or later….

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These songs are my current top picks…some are new, some are old…

Holy Spirit, Have Your Way –  Leeland

 

This is a song from Leeland’s latest Album “Love is on the Move”

This song says:
As I lay down my life, and pick up my cross

What a joy it is to give my life away to You

All that I need, and all that I seek is You here with me

Holy Spirit, have Your way in me….

 

Heaven Song – Phil Wickham

I really love songs that make me think about heaven, and Heaven Song is a good one. So is Higher Throne by Keith and Krysten Getty.

Holy Roar – Christy Nockels

Bless the Lord – Laura Story

This is the best song I’ve heard in years. Just love it.  I’m living this one every day… it says

You give and take away, for my good

For who am I to say what I need

For You alone see the hidden parts of me that need to be stripped away

And as You begin to refine, I’m learning to let go and rely

On One Who walks with me, as hard as it may seem,

You’re teaching me all the while to say

Bless the Lord, oh my soul…

Different – Jamie Slocum and Mollye Rees

Restore Me – J Moss

Just As I Am – Nicole Nordeman

Some great music, people! Hope you enjoy it!

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Hurt

Got my feelings hurt today. Pretty badly. It’s been a while since my feelings were this badly hurt (and incidentally, by the same person). I’ve been struggling more than a little ever since – partially because I’m tired enough to not quite have my usual coping skills, but mostly because this proves YET again that just when I had hoped that things between us might be approaching some sort of sincerity, we are no further along than we ever were. Can’t say who it is, and the truth is, it’s irrelevant. Let’s just say that said individual seems to care little to nothing for me as a person, and will put just about anything, even something trivially material before the thought of hurting me…

So, the struggle. Thinking about how to respond. Should I respond? Should I just ignore, again, for the millionth time? Should I just allow myself to be walked on yet again – for I know that the relationship, necessary, yet almost entirely superficial, could not be maintained if honesty was used. The person involved would simply deny any unpleasant motives. You see my dilemma? I pretty much have to take it because the individual cannot be forced into any sort of honesty.

Wondering if there are some boundaries that I need to set. Where would I start with that?

Thinking about the scripture about your brother having an ought against you…but what if you have an ought against your brother? The only one that I can think of that applies is the one about forgiving seventy times seven….The odd thing about that scripture is that it doesn’t mention anything about your brother having to be sorry. You have to forgive whether they are sorry or not. Or even if they realize – or care – about the extent to which you have been hurt.

So, I’m letting it go. SOOO not worth carrying around. Would have loved a real relationship with this person…it’s just not happening. They’re not ready for it – at least not yet.  They’d still rather manipulate and hurt while pretending to love me than actually love me. Too bad. They really don’t have any idea how much I would love to love them back…I’ll be waiting…

You know the kind of love you give to people who hurt you repeatedly? It’s the kind of love that exists because God helps you choose to show love….when you don’t feel it. It doesn’t flow naturally. You have to work at it. But it’s the right thing to do, so you ask for Help, and you do it…

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