24 June 2006
I find one of the most defining elements of personality to be one's natural energy level. My boss, for instance, is one of those people who is always cheery and bright, working 12 hours a day without blinking an eye and energy enough left over for a busy social life in the evenings. On a scale of 1 to 10 of natural energy levels, I'd say she is a 9.
I think I myself clock in at around 4.5. Of course, this fluctuates. Last week, for instance, I was riding a high 7 and couldn't find enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I wanted to do. This week I find myself sleeping a lot and relishing my 45 minute subway ride, gazing meditatively out the window at the dark, repetitive succession of passing steel girders. A lazy, hazy stupor that probably registers a 2 on the natural energy scale. Or maybe a 3—a few modest but important steps away from completely comatose.
I am learning to embrace the ebbs and flows of my energy. I think this is one of the good things about getting older. I accept that I am alloted a certain amount of energy—some days more and some days less than the average. And while the energetic days are good, I can also enjoy the chill, tranquil joy of staring blankly at an invisible spot approximately 8 inches from my nose. No, I'm not high, I'm just very relaxed.
It would be extremely helpful to have an LCD screen on my wrist that could broadcast to the world my current position on this natural energy scale. So when my boss asks me to do something, I can just point to it, and say, "dude. I am only a 3 today. You can pile all that work on my desk if you want, but I can not possibly complete it all. Check back next week."
Because the energy will come back. It always does. And luckily there are few external demands on my time right now, so I have the wonderful luxury of listening to my body, and resting.