pep talk tuesday
Something to consider as we wind down on a Tuesday...
In times of intense stress, my instinct is always to hoard my energy. I become Gollum, and my time is my Precious. Do not ask Gollum for the Precious. Mommy needs a minute.
I keep my time close. I stop sharing. I curl up on the couch with my earbuds in.
When my husband pops his head around the corner and asks me if I’ve seen the water bill because he’s writing checks and wants to make sure it gets paid on time, and also do I have 10 minutes tonight to look at the family budget since Christmas is coming up?
When my 6yo, Chicken, leaps into my lap and begs me to read the Pokemon book where the only female character’s only defining characteristic is that she takes care of a baby Pokemon?
When I check Twitter and see that fucking guy all, “FYI I’m tagging Katie bc I definitely wanted her to see I shared this meme that ’Any woman could destroy a good man’s life with these vicious lies’”?
My time becomes my Precious. I do not share it. I watch old episodes of Bones. I stop answering the phone. I shrivel into a fish-head-eating cave gremlin. Not literally, but you get the idea.
Anyone else do this?
The instinct to withdraw is rooted in survival. It's not illogical to conserve energy when you're plowing uphill. I know I have only so much to give, and I am accustomed to some people taking more than I offer them. We all are.
Some people are sponges, leeches, succubi. Some people will sit in the middle of your energy and drink until you're dry. No lies detected.
Avoid the leeches. That's sound advice, both literally and metaphorically.
But the solution to times of intense stress, I am learning, is not to hoard my time.
When I sit alone with my time, in the dark, stroking it and whispering "Miiiiine... my own... my preciousssss...." all that happens is that it, and I, get smaller. And smaller. And smaller again.
The solution is: choose people to share with who will share with you, too.
The solution is giving to other givers.
Now that feels counterintuitive, or at least like a leap of faith. But I promise you, when you give to givers, even if you're the first one to open your sack and pull out the last scrap of what you have to offer, you will never leave empty.
And if you’re reading this wondering, I feel so tapped, I wonder if I have anything left to give? I promise you, the answer is yes. You have something to give. You just gave it. You shared your emptiness, the same exhaustion I feel too. When we put them on the table where we both sit, we create something out of those two empty buckets.
Where I used to have one empty bucket, now there are two. Together, they created recognition, and the knowledge that neither one of us is alone.
It’s witchy stuff, giving. Use your power for good. Take care, give wisely, love yourself enough to come out of the dark when you’re ready. You don’t need to bring anything but your empty bucket. I’ve got one, too.