How much energy should I expend on what?
How much is my time worth?
With finite resources available these are questions I find myself far more aware of these days, both in my personal and professional lives.
An example: I’ve recently been having issues with my internet connection at home. Sky are my internet provider and it’s been ok aside from some quirks when I switched over (top tip: Sky routers really don’t like it when you change the SSID) but occasionally I get a little drop out here and there.
I’ve tried changing the broadcast channel but that hasn’t really seemed to help so I end up rebooting the router from time to time, probably not even once a month. Rebooting isn’t a permanent solution but as I live in a block of flats and I can see up to 20 different WIFI networks, it’s probably about as good a solution as I’ll get.
Basically I don’t think it’s worth the time and effort to find a permanent solution, so why bother? Why spend time and energy on something that doesn’t really bother me all that much?
I realise now that I’ve been taking the same approach with my emotional energy. I accept that I have a limited bandwidth and that that bandwidth changes from week to week. Some weeks I can handle anything the world wants to throw at me, others I’d much rather hole up on my sofa and binge watch TV (which I know doesn’t actually help… ⤷).
It means that my interactions with people can and do change from day to day. If I’m honest it probably changes hour to hour at times depending on how my day is going. Top tip: my Twitter usage is probably a good indicator, lots of tweets equals spare emotional energy, fewer (or no) tweets means I’m preserving what I have for the people I love.
I think I’ve been doing this for a while now without even realising it so it’s good to be able to step back and realise that I’m managing my moods better and spending my energies in the ‘right’ places.
I recently wrote (⤷) about my desire to better manage my moods and this is an extension of that. It’s not something new, I’ve been tackling this for a while now, but in the past month or so it definitely seems to have gotten better. I’m less stressed at work (which can use a LOT of my emotional energy) and I’m noticing small changes in my own behaviours and reactions to things that, in the past, would’ve had a big impact.
This year is about slow and steady. I’m tempering my usual ‘want it all now’ desires and realising that it’s taken me a long time to become who I am today, so changing any aspect of that will take a while too.
It means realising that I have a limited bandwidth for dealing with life. I won’t be able to everything every day, some days it’s ok to do nothing (something I struggle with), and some days I’ll only be able to handle a few things.
One day at a time.