I stopped and put gas in my vehicle’s tank this morning. As I stood there watching the numbers tick upward, I was thinking about many things – cosmetic defects on my beloved beater car, learning new skills, and the need for my mind and body to take time to refuel, and not just with the jam on toast I had for breakfast. An engine is fairly straightforward – it’s combustion. As long as it has fuel, air, and a spark, it’ll run. (Ok, it’s more complex than that, but bear with me).
A human being is a lot more complex than that. Simply having enough to eat is not enough. Some of us need human contact – but, as an introvert trained for extroversion, I need some, but not too much. It’s a balance. Getting to spend time with people means I need to retreat and rest, but it does recharge me and make me happy. Like I said, complex.
I’ve been missing cooking, since the last couple of months have been too much to get done, not enough time for me to spend on planning and executing meals. I’ve been doing a lot of throwing things together last minute, or relying on the rest of the family to help with meals. It’s been a year since I took a hiatus from a regular food blogging segment, and I have been missing it. I really enjoy the process of planning, cooking, photographing, and finally seeing the family reaction to special meals. Taking time to renew that over the weekend helped add some fuel to my fire.
Other things I did this week that helped refuel me from the tank being on empty a week ago today was going to have my hair cut – keeping myself taken care of is terribly easy for me to neglect, but I have learned that it might seem silly, but it does help. Actually, the shorter haircut helps because I can’t just pull it back off my face and ignore it. It might not be scientific to feel better after a haircut, but the human mind isn’t entirely the realm of science. If it were all science, it wouldn’t help to spend time with my husband talking about everything under the sun and making plans for the future. But that does help, and I spent a lot of time this weekend doing that. It keeps me going when I have to crack down in the kids and make them do what they are supposed to do – it’s easier to let them slide, but they need me to give them rules and then enforce those. My son, silly child, told me recently I don’t give him enough rules. I asked him if he really wanted more!
The more I pour out, in work and in motherhood, the more I need to refuel. I’ve been saying ‘no’ more often, and keeping careful track of the work I do outside the day job – because if I’m not careful, it can eat my life – and attempting to maintain a work-life balance. If all I did was work, I’d run my tank dry.
On the other hand, some of my work also fills up my tank – perhaps I could compare it to the spark that ignites the fuel. My artwork engrosses me when I’m working on it, and when I’m done I feel like I’m ready to take on the world again. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of digital artbecause they don’t require any set-up or clean-up. That, and I figured out how to manipulate the 3D fractals in a new and interesting way. As you can see from the header image, entitled “Space Dock,” which was created in Mandelbulb 3D.