Equilibrium. Hubris. Do these terms go together? Should they go together? If they seem to go together has one actually achieved equilibrium? These questions are the basis for today’s highly intellectual discourse. Or they may be the basis for the explanation of what the last couple of weeks have been like for me.
A thrilling aspect of magpie-ness is the speed at which we explore and delight in stimulating thoughts, ideas and activities, and usually more than one at a time. Life is continually rich. Lately I have enjoyed a superb “lineup” of shininess in travel. gardening, starting this blog, literature, history,… and I’ll stop right there. You get the idea. And while I have been investing time in these projects, other projects have been waiting in the wings: sewing, knitting, cooking,… I’ll stop right there. You get the idea.
At the same time that all this personal fulfillment has been going on, my professional life has been productive but draining. I found my appointment book overfilled ( a situation only I can cause to happen) and myself spending time outside client hours to catch up on phone calls and documentation. I went in a little early. I stayed a little late.
Unbelievably, I told myself I was handling it ALL. SUPERBLY. Because I wanted to handle it all. My energy was boundless. I could meet a personal trainer, see seven clients in a row, have company for dinner, and start over the next day. What I told myself was equilibrium was in fact hubris. I thought I had become a superhuman. Or Super Magpie, if you will.
You may know where this is going. As I approached the Memorial Day weekend, I knew I was tired, but I thought it was because I had been so busy. And I had lots and lots of weekend magpie plans which I won’t even go into. You get the idea. I didn’t do anything I had planned to do because I was sick.
Blah allergy stuff invaded me. If any of you have allergies and are prone to sinusitis you are familiar with the unsettling sensation of waking up in the morning feeling already exhausted. I had no energy to plant anything, or to do anything outside since the temperature was above 90 degrees. And my brain was too foggy to do anything that required accuracy or… thought.
So much for my scintillating blog entries. So much for repotting my gourd vines. So much for any interesting food and the artsy pictures I would have taken to record my efforts. All I cared about was ice water with lemon, berries and crackers. When I get this way there is nothing to do but accept the situation, to do nothing, and to trust that my energy will return. When would it return, I wailed to myself, in a storm of impatience and self pity.
Late in the day Memorial Day, having been earlier in the day to to a walk in clinic for an antibiotic , I woke from a nap feeling just a smidgen like myself. I didn’t have enough energy to go to yoga, but I did have enough energy to put on my bathing suit and and perform a vital scientific experiment involving an ice bucket and two bottles of beer. I just knew the bucket would make an excellent floating cooler, so much more elegant than those big red plastic floating things. “It won’t float”, remarked my husband, who loves to thwart my ideas. “Oh yeah?” I responded. “Let’s find out!”
As I gathered the materials for the experiment I felt the familiar surge of delight in life returning. When there is no energy there is no capacity to enjoy the absurd. And who wants to be without that?
OK, so the experiment in fact did NOT work, but that was not the point. The point was, I was on my way back, maybe more slowly than I would have wanted, but I’m not proud. I’ve become quite humble in fact. I’ll take what I can get.