I was driving on an empty tank on my way to town today, which struck me as odd because it seemed I had just put forty bucks of gas in the car a couple of days ago. The fact is the car had been used, (by any number of home-from-college-kids,) and it was time to stop everything for a couple of minutes and get more gas.
The alternative was to *really* waste some time by waiting by the side of the road while someone near and dear to me took my phone call and brought me a gas can full of gas because I couldn’t make myself stop to fill up.
Then I realized that I was feeling that my tank was empty, too. Know what I mean? That needing-to-do-something-solo feeling? So here I am parked by the lake. I don’t have time for this today, but I have learned that I need to “fill up” my tank, too, when it is empty.
What does your gas gauge say right now? Have you had some “me time” lately? Um, can you even remember the last time you did something alone? – and running errands doesn’t count!
If not, then may I suggest carving out an afternoon or evening for doing something you would like to do? It doesn’t have to cost money. You can stop by the library on a drive out to a park where you might just luxuriously read a book with no interruptions.
We are not being frivolous as moms and dads when we take a time out. We ALL need time to ourselves. Just as your car WILL stop functioning if you refuse to heed the empty tank warnings, so our temperaments tend to get out of whack if we refuse to not just slow down but to come to a full and complete stop.
The consequences of not stopping to fill up when your tank is empty are to not be a very nice person to be around, thus affecting everyone you come into contact with on a daily basis.
I can remember when my first four children were little. I could barely bring myself to leave them. I felt so guilty if I left them at home without me as if they would be the worse for me being gone. The truth was that they needed a break from me as well. I just didn’t know that at the time and never would have believed it at the time either. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.
It was even more difficult for me to get a sitter so that my husband and I could go out somewhere sans children. I was always nervous during dinner out at the restaurant or during the movie at the theater, and I missed out on some great R and R because I mistakenly thought I was depriving my kids of my presence. I am rolling my eyes just thinking about it now. How egocentric of me!
While it is sweet to miss your children when you go out somewhere, unless you are leaving them behind with your St. Bernard (remember Peter Pan?) to watch over them, know that they will be FINE in your absence and just go out and have a good time! Your kids will thank you!
Nowadays I may not even notice that the tank is getting empty emotionally until one of the kids will softly say, “Mom, do you need some time off?” That says to me that I need to get back on track and it is more than noticeable to those around me. Gulp! Do I really become annoying to be around? I can’t see how it could possilby be so, but evidentally it is. Ha!
This was just a friendly little reminder to check your gas gauge. Take some time off to fill up your own tank, and you will be a much happier camper when you get back to reality.
You are planning on coming back, right? LOL
I just checked my cell phone, and I have two missed calls. (I don’t get good reception here at this lake spot.) I suppose I should get back to reality myself. I feel much better now!
Thanks for coming by and hanging out with me. Have a terrific rest of your day, pun intended.