No, not the tank in your car. That’s what I thought too, when I first heard the phrase on a podcast I was listening to.
No good people, the tank they were talking about and the one I am now referring to is your personal tank of endurance, patience, goodness, compassion, feeling good. You know, the best kind of stuff. Whatever it takes to make you satisfied and enjoy life.
How can you recognize when someone you are close to doesn’t have a full tank? Well hell, the real question is how do I tell when I am running on empty? Maybe if I figured that out better, I would be able to tell more easily about others and give them some space.
I tend to get antsy and short tempered and I can almost feel my tank draining. Maybe I haven’t gotten enough sleep for a few nights running or haven’t had enough water to drink but most likely it is because I haven’t had enough alone time.
So, when I am around family (which I am now), then I have to really watch it. I stop reading my mysteries before bed (too tired), I want to eat a lot of junk food, my stuff is all over the place – clothes here and there and papers everywhere.
I find myself mumbling about things that never bothered me before like why am I the only one taking out the garbage or why can’t people just rinse their dishes and put them in the dishwasher. And why the hell can’t the person who ran out of toilet paper put the new roll on? Really stupid and mundane things to stress over.
The wave in my face, jump up and down signals are a departure from living life in the moment and enjoying what comes my way and dealing with the crap in an adult manner rather than feeling like having a two-year-old roll around on the floor tantrum.
I am happy to say it only goes on so long and then I CANNOT stand myself and I take action. Today I went to Lowe’s and bought two box cutters. Red and Black. Razor blades too. One for my daughter as I am f—king tired of ripping off my nails breaking down the Amazon boxes. And one just for me to sharpen my charcoal pencils when I get around to doing some artwork. The pencils and the sharpener are a start.
Walked up and down the tool aisle and looked at other stuff. Wasted some time by myself. Drove uptown and played Pokemon Go. Did a couple of raids, a couple of battles. Stopped and sat on the street and had a cappuccino and a really good macaroon at Amelie’s French Bakery on Main St. Breathed in and out. A few times with purpose. You know what I mean.
Filled the tank. Came back and finished three articles I was working on, did five short videos and reworked chapter 3 of my book.
I swear to you though, that a few people I know really well have had an empty tank for years now. And that energy sucks a few of my gallons if I am around them very much. Like energy vampires. Happens when you are unaware.
Maybe I need to put “How’s your tank?” on my Sunday evening weekly to-do list when I am getting ready for the next week. That would probably be better than running on empty.
I also want to put on that weekly to-do list to check on people I care about and love and to see how they are doing and if their tank needs a little fill-up of love and laughter.
Thinking about you.