Running on Fumes

Within a year of getting my driver’s license, one of my biggest fears as a 16-year old was running out of gas. All I could picture was being stranded on a rural county road with no more fuel in the tank and the red light indicator blinding me.

Of course that was before the time of cell phones, so I also pictured myself walking at 10pm to a nearby farmhouse to seek a gallon of gas. An introvert, I would have hated simply ASKING for the gas, let alone dealing with the conditions of pitch dark, fear of danger on the isolated road, the search for a farmhouse and the need to find a willing neighbor.

Ironically, I don’t have the same fear when I’ve metaphorically exhausted my fuel with early mornings and late nights. I don’t consider that I may collapse under pressure – instead I fear I will look bad. So I get up early to hit the gym, to work out with Ipod tunes and get my body revved up, thinking there is a spare tank in there somewhere, and collapsing exhausted in the evening once I let myself shut down.

When it’s up to me to personally run on fumes, my heart instead of my head wins out. When I’m loving my activities I keep pushing them, driven by enthusiasm – the fumes of passion. But when I am presented the opportunity to commit to activities I’m uninterested in, my head wins out. NO, I say. I need my rest. I need my space. I will have to pass.

Seemingly the fumes I choose to run on are selective. That’s a good thing, though. It allows me to prioritize, commit and develop a practice of refueling, so I can drive forward with confidence. Nothing but green lights and Full signals going on here!

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On May 7th, 2010, posted in: choice, controllling self by