Thursday, June 07, 2007

Energy Crisis

Posted by Lynne

Parenting takes time, but it also takes plenty of another valuable resource— your energy. In order to be the authority your child needs, you need determination, patience, stamina, resilience and sometimes courage. Parenting takes energy.

Above is an excerpt from Negotiation Generation in which I set the stage for a discussion of what I call the precious jar of energy. Imagine your body contains a special place where the energy you need to parent is stored--picture a precious jar of energy. All day every day, you decide how to use it and how and when to replenish the energy you store in your precious jar.

Whether you're talking about parenting or writing, this precious jar analogy is apropos. And today, not only is mine empty, but I forgot where I left it. I spent the last week engrossed in an intensive edit of my novel, while trying to schedule events for my fall book tour. I started a freelance magazine writing class and I'm preparing to teach a graduate course that starts in three weeks. That's just my work life. On the home front, my son is studying for finals and (insert the sound of me weeping) my daughter graduates from high school this Friday night.

I'm in the midst of an energy crisis.

What do I usually do to refill my precious jar? I write. I read. I imagine myself writing and reading.

Since each of the twenty-four hours per day I'm allotted is filled to the brim with must-dos, I can't do what I usually do to refill my precious jar. Sure I can imagine writing and reading, but it turns out that just isn't enough to re-energize me right now. Until my schedule settles out a bit--one week ought to do it--I'm going to have to run on empty.

What do you do to refill your precious jar? Any tips you have to help me through the graduation of my best girl would be greatly appreciated.


Larramie said...

One precious jar holds energy, while another vessel in your body brims over with love. Follow/listen/give of your heart, Lynne. What more could your daughter -- or any child -- want?

kristen spina said...

My best girl...Lynne, that is simply beautiful. I imagine it speaks volumes to the relationship you have with your daughter. It's an emotional time, isn't it? But perhaps a new beginning, rather than an ending?

As for my jar? A glass of wine, some engaging conversation and a good night's rest usually do the trick.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Larramie and Kristin,

Thanks for your supportive words. My daughter is a wonderful person, a true gem. It's truly a bittersweet time because she has a beautiful future ahead; I'm just sad she won't be living here anymore. Letting your children fly has got to be one of the hardest parts of motherhood.

Letting your writing go out into the world is hard, too.


Judy Merrill Larsen said...


You've nailed it--if we're successful, we raise our children to leave us, to fly. Same with our words--if we do it right, we send them out into the world as well, where who knows what can happen to either--the child or the book.

I've "released" two sons and one book in the past three years--wonderful and terrifying at once. Allow yourself the tears of joy and pride and sadness, but rest assured, she'll always need her mom and you get to watch her become who she's going to be. That rocks. Make the hug a long one.

Therese said...

Lynne, I wish I did have tips to help with handling your daughter's graduation--I'll need some when my oldest steps to the edge of the nest this time next year.

Somehow, I know you'll manage and even this running-on-empty period will gift you with precious memories for times to come.