Hitting the Wall

a gas station in the darkIn addition to being a book publicist, I’m also a business instructor at a local community college, an author, a blogger, a volunteer, a participant in a number of community and writing groups, and a wife and mother.

While I enjoy doing all of that, at my age (I reached the magic number 60 this year) I often find that sometimes, inexplicably, I hit the proverbial wall. Hard. No energy, no ideas, nothing.

This concept was driven home for me recently when I was headed back to my house late at night after teaching a college class and noticed that my car was almost out of gas. I drive a new Honda Accord and had never driven it before with the gas indicator lit, so I wasn’t sure how many miles were left before it ran out. I wasn’t near any gas stations and had no idea how much further the car would go. My two options were to stop and call my husband to come and bring me a can of gas or to wing it and trust that there was enough left in the tank to bring me home.

Sometimes we find ourselves in similar situations with our energy levels. We over-commit ourselves and pile so much on our plates that eventually, if we’re not careful, we can find ourselves suddenly drained of initiative, sitting on the couch for hours, staring at the wall.

But here’s the thing—it’s okay to hit the wall sometimes. There are instances in our lives where we just plain do too much, especially those of us who are writers in addition to being committed to our clients and employers, our families, our social and online communities, and our friends. Eventually, we find ourselves physically exhausted, psychologically drained, and out of gas emotionally.

And sometimes, this can be a good thing. Our bodies and minds are telling us, “Hey, time to take a break.” It’s as if the universe is forcing us into a cosmic time-out so that we can rest, rejuvenate, and get ourselves back out there doing all the wonderful things we do, including writing.

Something else I learned from that evening of driving my new car home on empty is that even when we may feel as if we’re out of gas, we often have enough in reserve to make it through whatever we’re facing. As it happened that night, I made it, maybe barely, and maybe with just fumes to spare. But I took a chance and soldered on and was able to get home.

So the lesson is this: Even when it appears that we have nothing left to give, we can get through it. the key is not to panic, to realize that our bodies and minds are giving us a much-needed reminder about self-care, and to trust that our emotional reserves will be there to see us through.

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/search/gas?photo=o8IfF0RUTTs

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Paula Margulies is a book publicity and promotions expert in San Diego, California. You can reach her by email at paula@paulamargulies.com, view her website at www.paulamargulies.com, contact her on Twitter at @PaulaMargulies, or say hello on Facebook at Paula Margulies Communications.