I glanced down and realized that the mower was about out of gas. I can’t lift full cans high enough, and I had already used the only partially full can. Oh, well, weed eating was the priority anyway. I went to work and realized I had two problems: the weed eater was out of string, and the battery was low. I picked up the hedge trimmer and its battery was low too.
I realized that I was about out of gas and needed to recharge my batteries. As I headed to the shower, I thought that my dilemma described how I’ve been feeling lately. I’m not sleeping well and I’m tired all the time. I’m physically and mentally tired. I’m about out of gas and need to recharge my batteries.
The way I felt after an hour in the heat reminded me how I felt after a day of caregiving. It’s disheartening to wake up feeling as tired as I felt when I went to bed the night before. Physically, I cannot do as much as I could a few years ago.
During the caregiving years, and now, it seems that my mental to-do list is as plentiful as the spots on a Dalmatian. Unwinding a tightly wound brain is almost impossible.
I have the same unsettled feeling now that I used to have when Jim’s health was declining. I’m waiting for the other shoe to fall, but I’m expecting it to fall out of the sky and hit me on the head. I have that familiar feeling when I awake in the morning that everything isn’t all right.
As a caregiver, I felt isolated at times. Sure, I was around other people, but Jim and I spent time alone together. I missed the conversation, the companionship, and the love he had lavished upon me. It was hard to think for two, love enough for two, and try to stay in the moment without worrying about the next day, week, year, lifetime.
When it got too bad, I’d recharge my batteries. Whether it was a trip to Branson, a picnic in the park, or just spending time with my mom and sisters, it didn’t take much for the sunlight of inner peace to wash away the shadows of doubt and dread.
During a pandemic, it’s harder to find ways to charge my batteries. I’m taking a page out of Jim’s playbook when he was younger. During times when he was sad and depressed, he would play his guitar for “therapy.” His routine for years was to pick up his guitar every morning and play a tune or two.
I regret that I never learned to play an instrument while Jim was living, but I do find that playing my ukulele is relaxing. My granddaughter called the ukulele a “happy” instrument. I’m in the mood for a little “happy” and that might just be the way to do it.
No matter how down and depressed Jim became, he said that planning a vacation gave him something to look forward too. I may not be able to go on a physical vacation, but if I go on a mental vacation for just a few hours a day, I could recharge my batteries and refuel my spirit.
Copyright © August 2020 by L.S. Fisher