Energy Drain

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I went to turn on my computer today and my homepage had changed. It appears that the security software had to reset my computer because of some security risk. Although I had never heard of this happening before, I was much more concerned about what my homepage was set to – MSN News.

The headlines were captivating and instantly griped my attention. A couple murdered by their son, hundreds dead in an airline crash, another mass shooting, a heavy metal concert ignited into a deadly inferno, ISIS and their latest terror claims. This on top of a local two year old who died in a tragic horse and buggy accident this week. I clicked and read some of the stories.

This MSN episode quickly set me in motion to changing my homepage and then got my mind wandering. What was the matter with the world? Why are so many people messed up? What is the explanation for all of this war and carnage? So much suffering…

I then began tallying all of the bad things going on around me. A family member had surgery this week, which had complications. Friends of ours received devastating medical news about their loved one. Another friend lost her young husband to an illness. My computer probably has another virus.

There is so much to be sad about. One tragedy after another. More things to feel badly about. So much that doesn’t make any sense. I began to feel depressed and de-energized. It was like the life was being sucked out of me. Bad news is an energy drain. Just typing the above words has been an energy drain.

Within minutes, I caught myself. I realized that these were horrible things to read and think about. I recalled that years ago, I became aware of the detrimental effects that negative information has on our mood, after swearing off reading, watching and listening to news for a several year stretch.

This was one of the best experiments of my life. It is remarkable how the rest of the world is so in tune with what is going on around us that I discovered it wasn’t necessary to bombard my time learning about the awful things in the world. Everyone else talks about all of these awful things anyways, so I was always still in the loop.

Although I check in on the news, regularly now, I am much more selective of when and how much I take it in. First thing in the morning and before bed are never good times for me and less than an hour a day plenty enough. With a tendency for night terrors, my husband hates when I watch news before bed!

Since I am so sensitive to energy around me, I would rather not subject myself to depressing stories, more than necessary. There are enough things to be worried about in my own circle and community. I certainly don’t need to focus on every other sensationalized headlines that fills the Internet or the grocery store aisle.

Among all of this tragedy that entered my consciousness this week, I had to make a concerted effort to regain my perspective and energy. I went to another Paint Nite, spending time with my niece and creating some fun art creations. My husband and I doubled over in laughter watching Shaun Majumder at the Algoma Fall Festival’s comedy show.

I demonstrated Kangoo Fitness moves in the lobby of the Sault Area Hospital at the Wellness Fair, which caused many people to watch and laugh at the awesomeness of jumping like a kid on bouncy boots. It was really nice, for a change, to be at the hospital for a positive experience!

I got cozy with a recorded movie called, ‘Big Miracle’, about saving trapped whales (which made me cry) and celebrated the successes of the rescue team and love story that brewed. I then got to enjoy some Halloween celebrations with my family of Minions, Ninja Turtles and a black Mama cat.

It was like an emotional rollercoaster this week. I felt exhausted and elated, laughed as hard as I have ever laughed, along with a crowd of hundreds of people around me. I cried at the fate of a baby whale in distress, sitting alone in our living room. I ate lots of Halloween candy, have the stomach ache to prove it and enjoyed hearing the rain on the leaves.
Life is like that; full of ups and downs. All we can do is wipe the tears, enjoy the moments, let go of what we can’t change, focus on the anything good, express gratitude for what we appreciate and keep plugging away.

It is worth it, though, to be very selective about what you are subjecting yourself to, along the way. What kind of things are draining your energy? What fuels you?

‘I think I’ve discovered the secret to life, you just hang around until you get used to it.’ ~ Charles M. Schulz