Sunday, August 7, 2011

O Energy, Energy, Where Art Thou?

I used to be a person of tremendous energy.  

With Josh's death, all of that energy, that sense of vitality and propulsion forward, evaporated.  How I returned to my work at seminary and in spiritual direction three months later I will never know.

These days, I would say that I'm about halfway back.  

Yesterday it was my tremendous privilege to lead a workshop on discernment for a small group of UCC pastors being trained in a new process for helping individuals explore calls to ministry.  I had a co-leader who opened and closed with information about the UCC framework, but I designed and led the five hours on discernment.  Bases upon the evaluation comments, I would call the day an almost unqualified success.  (The participants enjoyed the role-play experiences so much that we had to dispense with an entire topic. No one else minded, but I did. Next time: a firmer grip on the schedule!)

And today ~ I'm drained ~  immobilized.


When I was on retreat a couple of weeks ago, I often began my mornings with a walk down a big hill to a cemetery, and sometimes a bit further.  When I walked back up to the house, very slowly as the sun rose higher and the oppressive  heat descended again, I could hear a wood thrush in the still-darkened woods as I savored the black raspberries growing along the path. 

I often begin my days at home with a walk.  But at home I have to go from walk to tasks related to house and work, and I have already given my best time and energy to the walk itself.  If I have to accomplish something urgent that day, I get started on my computer before I even get up, and postpone the walk.


Three years and I am still struggling with the matter of how to organize my life so that I can accomplish work I love without being completely depleted of energy.

I suppose there's progress to savor in the fact that I want to solve this problem.

The heat is not helping!


  1. I so identify with the lack of energy, but this made me wonder something. Do you think if you hadn't already started seminary before, you would have been able to?

  2. No.

    What an interesting question.

    I'll think about that some more.

    Are you wondering about your capacity for new things in your changed life?

  3. Yes, indeed. Summer is not the best time to get organized in the East. The weather insists that you lay it all down and rest--float down a lazy river, lay in the sun listening to waves, take a nap by a window. I think Fall may permit efforts at organization, as long as they are interpersed with hot cider and fresh baked bread. You may yet get a good opportunity to replenish your soul and reorganize your life, not weighted down by the heat of summer. At least that's my plan!
    Love, Karen East

  4. Only you can really recognize that your energy level is not what it used to be. But just looking at all the pies into which you have slipped your finger since graduation, plus still dealing with your changed life, I'd say you have plenty going on. Maybe too much?

    And don't forget (though those of us "of a certain age" try and try to do exactly that) age will have its effect on what we are able to accomplish on any given day. I find myself slowing down as well. It's annoying, but I guess I have to acknowledge that I am not Superwoman and I am not immune to the effects of age... :P

  5. The heat don't help anything. Hope your trip to rescue your spiritual director went well.

  6. Robin, Absolutely yes. I've felt completely stalled, in real need of change and unable to do anything about it. I know that some of my physical issues have had a hand in that, but mind and spirit have felt stuck as well.