Thoughts to Ponder – April 16, 2015

“When our energy feels drained,
we have allowed others to plug into us,
without taking the time needed for oursel(ves),
to recharge.”
Window of Wisdom*

How often have we allowed others to drain our energy in order to please them? We were raised to be kind, thoughtful and caring by our parents, teachers and religious leaders. All of those are good traits. We interpreted our teachings to mean give, give, give.

This is because we were not taught that in order to give we have to take care of ourselves first, usually because our role models did not know how to take care of themselves. I remember watching my mother and aunts work until they were ready to drop taking care of everyone in the family. Our fathers and uncles worked their jobs/farms, came home and made repairs and then went to a neighbor’s house to do what needed done there.

They did this day after day. Taking a break to rest or relaxing was considered selfish. No matter how bad life was for them, someone else had it worse and needed their help. They became exhausted because they were not nurturing themselves. As the years passed we saw their bodies fail from overwork.

As our generation grew to adulthood, some of us followed our parents’ model. Others became takers. As the years passed most of us learned that there is a middle way, healthier for all. We have learned that we must not only give to others, but we must also take time for ourselves. Only in this way can we keep the energy flowing – in both directions.

It doesn’t matter how we take care of ourselves. Perhaps we dance or practice yoga, bike or garden, or read until our eyes close and we slip into a restful nap. I do all of the above, different methods for different days.

The point is that by taking time to heal myself mentally, physically and spiritually, I have more energy to give others. I pushed myself to the limit while raising my children, much to their detriment and my regret. During the years between their leaving home and my introduction to my grandchildren, I learned a new way, to take care of myself first.

Now I work, spend time with my great-grandsons, read, meditate, spend time enjoying the outdoors and write. I’m not all the way there, because I find writing healing and restful, but it seems to be lowest on my list of things to do for myself.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, April 16, 2015

*Window 742 – Don’t diminish your light, April 15, 2015 at

Sharon D. Dillon,, “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at


8 thoughts on “Thoughts to Ponder – April 16, 2015

  1. You have a gift for relating what it is like to be a woman of our generation. You show sensitivity to the art (challenge)of getting old.

  2. So true….after years or raising a son, caring from my mother and working fulltime with my column business on the side, I barely know how to take care of myself. I have a nightly reading I do before bed and I wrote on the bookmark, “Rest is good. I deserve rest.” I’m working on it.

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Susan. Being a great-grandmother is easy. In our family we all married at 5, just kidding of course.

      In reality: my mother was 18 when I was born. I was just 20 when my son arrived and 21 when my daughters came forth. Only one daughter had children and she was 19 when her first was born and 21 when the second arrived. My granddaughter was 19 when her first was born and 22 when the second arrived. My grandson was 20 when his first arrived and 23 when the second came. So now I’m 69 and young enough to enjoy those four boys.

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