Sunday, January 29, 2012

My energy-expenditure diet

I have quite a bit of energy that I parcel out during the week into my job, my writing, my loved ones, some cooking, my critique group, some more writing, a little housework, teaching Sunday School, church committee work, and - did I mention - my writing. I find that my energy is no longer the boundless wonder it had been in years past. I have just as much drive and ambition, I just don't have the energy to pour into extras.
If I respond to every stimulus that threatens to tax my available energy, I'll be exhausted. Fatigue lowers my ability to focus, and trying to accomplish things while I'm unfocused makes me less efficient. Then I waste even more energy and begin that familiar downward spiral.

So I've learned to guard my energy and only use it for things that matter, things that satisfy me. I consider it my energy-expenditure diet: when faced with the never ending litany of Hollywood/political/wife-cheating/anorexia scandals, I ask myself: is learning more about these people's bad behaviors worth the energy cost? If the answer is no (and it usually is), I turn the TV off, I don't buy those magazines, and I don't give it more than a few moments thought. In the big picture of my life, those people and their problems are nothing to me. They're not entitled to my energy.

That said, I do get passionate about issues, issues involving rights and justice and fair play and freedoms. I just don't put importance on the same things as the media, and apparently, most of America.

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