I am weary. Not so much physically tired, but mentally exhausted, as if my brain can no longer deal with a tangled mass of pressures, obligations, expectations, commitments, responsibilities, and more. Drained, like a battery left in a device whose on-off switch was left in the on position for too long. At some point, the loss of charge can be so great the battery cannot be recharged; that is the danger of failing to replenish the energy supply while there is still enough power left for recovery. Weariness does not necessarily arise from a few intense intellectually or emotionally draining engagements; a substantial—seemingly endless—number of less taxing burdens can lead to bone-deep weariness, as well. “Time away” is meant to relieve the stresses of day-to-day life by placing those strains on hold for a time, but sometimes the preparations for and execution of that withdrawal from one’s hum-drum daily life can, instead, amplify the number and intensity of the burdens. Even after the burst of those preparatory stresses diminishes, the return to the obligations of day-to-day life can rekindle the flames that made the “time away” so inviting. Returning to work from a vacation can be like stepping from a cool stream into a pot of boiling water. Today, the activities and obligations associated with day-to-day life and retirement are stand-ins for work. An extended period of days-long restorative sleep, absent the arthritic pain that accompanies waking from hours of motionless rest, could be the solution. Awakening from a medically-induced coma might erase the weariness. But every solution comes with potential problems of its own. Perfection does not exist in anything. Every aspect of existence is flawed in one way or another. Perhaps the flaws may provide the contrasts we need to appreciate experiences in which flaws are at least temporarily eliminated. “Pleasure with pain for leaven.” Or something like that.
How long, I wonder, might it take to cure addictions to news, social media, email, text messages, telephone calls, and other forms of communication in which our brains are bombarded with data? How many days before the longing for “input” would decline enough to make its absence tolerable? How much longer before that craving to completely disappear? That appetite for data probably contributes to mental weariness; more likely, satisfying that appetite probably exacerbates fatigue and exhaustion.
Lonesome. Lonesome. I know what it means. Here all by my lonesome, dreaming empty dreams. Weary. Weary at the close of day, wondering if tomorrow brings me joy or sorrow.
~ Leon Redbone ~
When I woke this morning, I had planned to join a group of men from church for our regular Thursday morning breakfast. But almost immediately upon waking, my intent weakened. I am not sure, now, whether I will go or not. I am leaning toward staying home. I stayed home all day yesterday. Today, though, I may stay home and practice intentional relaxation. Not meditation, necessarily, but simple rest. Enjoyable conversation, avoiding the troublesome news that floods the airways, and pleasant engagement. That would be nice. Smiles. Laughter. Nothing hard or taxing or bitter or otherwise stressful. Wishful thinking.
I’ll see what the day brings.