I find symbolism everywhere.
Metaphorically speaking, things speak to me.
Not like I’m hearing actual voices, but… I notice stuff.
My fortune said so.
On a recent morning, I woke up fatigued. Weary. Whooshed.
And it seemed I wasn’t the only one lacking power. High winds overnight had briefly knocked out our electricity.
All of the digital clocks needed to be re-set, a time-sucking task.
And I had a time-sensitive To-Do list to tackle.
But the microwave angrily blinked: 3:37 AM!
It was not 3:37 AM.
Next to it, the automatic coffee maker announced: 3:34 AM!
It was not 3:34 AM either, but that raises the question, why are my appliances never synched?
After successfully updating each clock in the house to a somewhat similar time frame, I began my work.
I opened my laptop only to find it at 6%, warning me it would “go to sleep” soon if I didn’t plug in.
My phone was at a mere 12% and demanded the same.
While waiting for both to charge, I grabbed our hand-held vacuum from the hall closet to collect the dog hair that had accumulated in our family room seemingly overnight.
(I swear I just did this just yesterday, no wonder I’m so tired…)
Sixty seconds into that task, the vacuum died. Its rechargeable battery needed a charge.
Nothing in the house was working!
Everything seemed fatigued. Weary. Whooshed.
I’m sure the feeling showed on my face. I look tired.
Everything seemed to be guiding me to the obvious conclusion.
It was time for a recharge.
So instead of starting my work, I made a cup of coffee and – for the first time in a long time – didn’t put it down only to immediately forget where I put it.
I drank it.
While it was HOT. While not doing anything else.
Then I texted a friend to check-in. After that, I took the dog for a short walk, treading slowly and deliberately to avoid slick and icy areas of the trail.
When I came back, all of my devices were charged up and ready to go.
And so was I.
No longer whooshed, my mind was whirring with ideas and possibilities.
We may start each day with goals, but if our battery is low, we won’t accomplish much.
We hear so much about the importance of unplugging, but how do you best plug in to charge your own batteries?
5 Ways to Get Your Battery Back to 100%:
Get Moving – Whether you walk or run or sweat or stretch, there’s a benefit to moving. Don’t think you have the energy to put one foot in front of the other? Not resting can still be restful! It’s Why I Walk. Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion. Invigorate the next wave of inventive ideas or a round of productivity by simply getting up and moving.
Get to Nature – In the warmer months of a particularly brutal work stretch, I’d come home, take off my shoes and walk around my yard barefoot. Yes, like Richard Gere in “Pretty Woman.” No, not with Julia Roberts. I found the process grounded me which is exactly what Barefoot experts insist on. (There are actually experts in this field, I just don’t know what they are called). I don’t risk frostbite in the winter, so rather than staying grounded, I look upwards at the sky. Don’t walk barefoot in the dead of winter
Get Some Shut-Eye – A 20-minute nap works wonders. During my early morning TV years, I was known to pull an occasional afternoon Costanza and lie down on my (ugh, disgusting) office floor for a quick bit of shut-eye. No longer than 20 minutes though or you’ll likely wake up more discombobulated than before, which means you need to set an alarm. Make sure your device is charged enough to wake you!
Get Away from Habit – Take the same route to work each day? Eat at the same deli? Engage in the same (stupid) arguments? Changing your routine can open up new ways of thinking. I have a friend who does handstands because she swears the world looks different upside down. I think all of that blood rushing to her head has compromised her ability to comprehend most people cannot do handstands. But I agree with trying to see things differently. In the many years I critiqued TV pieces before they aired, I’d change my viewing habits – sometimes sitting, sometimes standing, from the front or back of the room, etc. You really do see things differently when you change your vantage point. Unfamiliarity brings new energy.
Get Connected – No, not to your device! To a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, to the person who always has your back, to someone who gives you a hug when you need it most. Don’t let energy vampires suck the life out of you. Reach out and regularly connect with people who feed you with positivity and who believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself. Re-evaluate your Cast of Supporting Characters as necessary and involve them in every challenging chapter.
So how about you? How do you charge your batteries when they’re running low? Share your tips!
Valerie Gordon is a 10-time Emmy award-winning television producer and long-time storyteller. The founder of The Storytelling Strategist and the Commander-in-She blog Valerie speaks at conferences and works with corporations to help clients use the power of story for impact and influence.