Do I have enough gas to get there?

There are two types of people – at least according to the joke about gas in the car. There are the people who will fill up as soon (or before) the tank gets down to the halfway point. Then there are the people like me. When the light comes on, warning me that the car is almost empty, I try to see if I can still get to my next destination (sometimes even a second destination). Despite this game, I have never run out of gas. On the surface it looks like irresponsible risk taking, but I will tell you, it is not. I know that when the gas tank registers “E” there is about a gallon of gas left. If I know the mileage the car gets, I can do the math and figure out approximately how many miles I can drive.
In life, it can be a bit more difficult. I will push push push myself to go further, work harder and take on one more task. There are times I really wonder if I will have enough gas to get there. My day job is demanding and requires that I travel 4 days out of every week. My work takes up most of those days from waking till I go to sleep at night. I volunteer as an administrator for our local Buy Nothing Project. This does not take up a huge amount of my time but is something I need to fit in. I also have a couple other sporadic volunteer things I do to support the community. Then there’s the Family responsibilities with my daughters and grandchildren, which are joyous ways to spend time, but is still time spent. My step son also needs and deserves some of my time. Cherished time with friends is also an important aspect of my life and time. I have a monthly event that I host to help others on their spiritual path. This preparing for and hosting also drains my gas tank. Add to all of this blogging, writing books, and working on proposals with my coauthor. Some days I feel like I am running on fumes. And last but not at all least is time with my husband. Although, this probably fuels my tank more than drains it.
I’m sure most people today could make a list like I just did about everything that is tugging at their time. Jobs, family, housework, community; we would not want to give any of them up. We just need to make sure we have enough fuel in the tank to get everywhere we need to go. So what can I do when I start to run out of gas? How can I be sure to keep my tank full? Below is a dozen ideas that can help when you feel like you just don’t have any steam left.
1. Me time – find a quiet few minutes to spend time on yourself. Maybe take a bath or go to a yoga class with your me time. Maybe just have a cup of tea and read a book.
2. Exercise – even something as simple as going for a walk can help get the heart pumping and clear away the cobwebs. The world will seem brighter.
3. Healthy food choices – Have a snack, but make it something that will nourish your body. Then you will feel good about putting it into your body.
4. Fun – I love to travel. So if my husband and I can sneak away for a weekend, I feel like my tank has been filled. Other ideas could be a card game with friends, shopping, or a girls luncheon are all different ways to have fun.
5. Nature – Be out in the forest, sit by a lake, hike through he desert or up a mountain. Maybe you just spend a slice of your day in a park. The fresh air and sun on your face can give you the boost to complete the rest of your day.
6. Meditation – meditation is nice break from all the busy thoughts. You probably will not stop all the thoughts but it will give you the chance to step back from them for a few minutes.
7. Massage – I love the relaxing atmosphere of getting a massage in a dim room with soft music. Feeling those tense muscles start to melt under the skilled hands of the massage therapist can be very rejuvenating.
8. Listen to music – match the music to your mood or the mood you want. I have a “running” play list that is very upbeat. My “yoga” play list is more subdued and provides more zen to my day. “How I feel” is the play list I use when I am more melancholy.
9. Talk to a good listener – We all have that friend who is great at letting you ramble on and on. If you don’t know who this person is in your life, it is probably you. If you don’t have a “listener” friend, ask one of your other friends to fill that role. They will probably be glad to do it from time to time.
10. Count your blessings – we all have so much to be grateful for. You can mentally think of them or write a list. Either way it is a great way to fill your tank.
11. Laugh – Reading jokes on line, listening to a comedian, or watching some comedy are all good ways to laugh it out. There is even laughter yoga. Have you heard of that before?
12. Spend time with those you love – Nothing can fill my tank quite like spending time with my husband, family members, and close friends. Love will and can, keep you going.
Remember to find balance in life between things that fill your tank and empty your tank. You can’t keep going to do, all of those wonderful things that people are counting on you to do, if you don’t take some time to fill your own tank so you can make it all the way.
How do you keep your tank from running on “E”?
What is your favorite self care activity?

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your tank be more than half full always.

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