Wednesday, February 28, 2007


A few days ago, I came into my office to find my
Spathiphyllum plant (often called a Peace Lily) looking like this. (I only know the Latin name because there is a tag in the pot.)

I keep 2 plants in my office. They were gifts from one time or another, and they add life to the room. But I can be neglectful. I don’t baby my plants at all. I’m sure this plant needs something, since it seems to dry out quickly and many leaf tips are brown. It hasn’t flowered for over a year.

But I can relate to this plant – especially today when I have a headache. I seem to go in energy spurts, working on multiple projects simultaneously and then quickly drying out for a day or two, not having energy for much at all. Quiet, undistributed rest is one of the things my body really needs on a regular basis in order to keep going. If I don’t get proper sleep or if I keep running without an evening of quiet alone time, then I really start to feel stretched and stressed. (Those who have seen me a couple days into a writers’ conference probably would recognize my drained appearance.)

To keep my engine running, give me:
  • 7-8 hours of sleep per night
  • at least a gallon of pure water per day
  • 20 minutes of exercise every other day (this I seem too willing to neglect, but I know it would make me feel so much better)
  • a Sabbath rest every 7 days (no physical or mental work, preferably alone time)
  • Caffeine and chocolate once a week (more than once seems to pull me back toward addiction and have a downer effect)
  • a time for creative play at least every couple of weeks (crafting, redecorating, shopping, etc.)

Within 2 hours of watering my plant, it looked normal again. See. Wish I could bounce back as quickly after being drained.

Every body/personality type is different, but I would find it interesting to hear what is essential to keeping your engine running.

Becky (who is feeling that midweek slump)


Erica Vetsch said...

I need to laugh. Read something funny, watch something funny on tv, play a game with the kids...anything that makes me laugh gets me back on an even keel.

Linda Ford said...

Becky, I really identify with what you're saying. I've been feeling cranky lately. Even my client complained. Ouch. I don't want to be. I vow I won't be. I pray for help. But I think the biggest problem is not enough solitude. It sounds selfish but I think writers need a lot of alone time. So much of what is real to us is inside our heads and we need time to live there. At least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Take good care of yourself. Linda

Jess said...

Oh, my, Linda I can totally understand the 'so much of what is real to us is inside our heads' and that scares me. And I don't want any more solitude than what I have. My dh is in Scotland, my daughter is at Seminary in New Orleans, and this house is entirely too quiet. Actually, nothing revitalizes me like a good book. I feel inspired and challenged, and I rush to the computer to write. A badly written book brings me down, down, down... and I become hesitant and unsure of myself. I pray, Oh, Lord, don't let this be me.

Linda Ford said...

Jess,try and enjoy your solitude. Take advantage of it if you can. I am NEVER alone and would probably not handle it very well. If it ever happened I would probably have to take my laptop to either a coffee shop or a library so I could get energy from those around me. I guess it all comes down to balance--which I see everytime I swing by. :-)

Candice Speare said...

Exercise is most essential. Also, a good diet--very little sugar and wheat, and good quality proteins. A balance of time alone and time with others. Worship. Music. Laughing with friends. A sense of accomplishment--the completion of projects, especially those I've been putting off.

Kristy Dykes said...

I have an identical plant in my dining room. I passed by it yesterday and thought, I need to water you. You're wilting. Thanks for the reminder. I'll go water it now! And thanks for the list of requirements we need. Also a good reminder.

Mary Connealy said...

I posted a long and brilliant comment here yesterday, and it's not here? My computer skills may have not yet hit bottom.
I am snowed in today and going stir crazy. If you'd like to see my Movie Trailers for Petticoat Ranch and Golden Days you can find them on my MySpace page and my blog.

Cara Putman said...

I'd love to get back to 7-8 hours of sleep a night. With kids, writing, training for a mini-marathon, board work and teaching, there just aren't enough hours in the day. Time to rebalance. :-)