This blog post has been written already. Written and lost into the black hole of cyberspace thanks to yet another Eskom blackout. (This time it wasn’t cable theft. It was because they were butchering the street’s trees.) I loved the post, it was perfect and so I cried. Full, copious two-year old tears. And it made me think of all the times the Prince’s cried because their beautiful Lego creations or block towers were broken by one of their princely siblings and how I told them, ‘Don’t worry it’s terrible it’s broken, but you built it, so you can build it again.’ Looking back with my loss, I shudder at the inadequacy of my response. The lack of empathy, of being in their world of hurt and loss, and just wordlessly holding them as I would have liked to be held that fateful morning. Once held we can dry our tears of loss and get back on the writing seat, the building blocks floor and get on with it.

The experience of loss further challenged exactly what I was writing about in the post that I lost – PERSPECTIVE. In the big scheme of things losing a blog post is really not a big deal. There are other mornings to write, there is tomorrow, even when at times it feels that there is no tomorrow. Even when I’m struggling with sleep deprivation and every moment spent writing feels sacred. But sometimes I don’t remember this, sometimes I do lose my head and go into my drama queen hysterics.

Especially now that school is in full swinging swing swing. Leaving me catching my breath and crawling into bed at the end of the day exhausted. I hate feeling tired and pap, like a cloud hanging over me that I’m only half aware of. It makes me grumpy and moody, it makes me unhappy, which is a terrible thing because I love my life. I have a very blessed life. And with all the terrible, awful, nightmarish happenings of last week I am that much more aware of how I should be bouncing out of bed, singing ‘What a beautiful morning.’ Not blearily grabbing a toothbrush and brushing as if my life depended on it for a full five minutes trying to wake up. I really feel the more I hear the bad, the more I have a duty to feel good, appreciate my life and the lives of everyone I’m blessed to be surrounded by.

So it’s my mission to rev up the energy levels and appreciate what I have and here are my findings on how to do it:

1. Go for a Medical Checkup

This is the first step to dispersing foggy brain thinking. Because having low energy may not be you, it may be a physical imbalance that’s causing the unexplainable heavy lows and mood swings. I’m not one to really share my private medical history, especially not on a public blog (believe it or not I’m an incredibly private, quite shy person), but this is for the public good, hence the public blog.

Last year I had a lump in my throat, which I tried to ignore for a month or so, but couldn’t ignore anymore. With my heart in my shaking toes I went for a sonar. Every horrible thought of what it could be traversed my mind like a poisonous Redback spider bite. So when it ended up being Post Partum thyroiditis I breathed a sigh of relief.

Not that thyroiditis is something to be sniffed at, but as my endocrinologist said,  it’s very treatable. And once an under active thyroid is treated, mood swings, weight gain and general tiredness disappear. Now here’s the thing, one in eight women suffer from thyroid imbalance, wether hypo (under active) or hyper (overactive). I was once advised that every woman should get her hormones checked once a year. It’s good advice, and it could make all the difference to energy levels and mood swings.

2. Increase your Fun Loving Time

One of the things I’ve learnt from ‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Ruben, is that when you give energy to what you love and have fun with, you increase your energy. This is hard to believe, however it really works. This week for example I had an awful night, chasing baby Prince No. 4 all over my bed, as he refused to settle down and sleep. I woke up feeling like I’d spent the night driving a heavy 4×4 with nonstop lifts. My plan that morning was to go to yoga, the last thing I felt like doing. I went, and at the end of the class I felt like someone had given me a full night’s sleep. I had boundless energy for the morning. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s a truism. When you do what you love you increase your energy. So here’s to more writing, more  playing, more baking, and more drawing for me. And taking more fun breaks in between work.

3. Rest

Sleep, sleep, sleep is the only cure for tiredness at the end of the day. Even if you do fun things that invigorate you, the lack of sleep will eventually catch up. This week I did something I don’t usually like to do. I lay down one afternoon for an hour and said, ‘Sorry I’m going to rest now. Please don’ t disturb.’ And the Princes didn’t disturb. (Even though they should have, as Prince No. 1 sliced his finger open with his pocket knife.) Because of that sleep, I was able to deal with power hour without slaying my Princes. I find it impossible to self regulate when I’m tired. I find myself shouting and snapping away like a dragon. So even if it’s a twenty-minute power nap or lying with your feet up. It’s really worth it, for the sake of the children, if not for yourself. (We mothers really have an issue with taking it easy. If there’s five minutes free, we search for that one other job we can squeeze in. Don’t do that, rest.)

4. Change Your Perspective

This is perhaps the biggest game changer for me. I tend to whinge and whine, a habit I haven’t broken since childhood. It’s not something I’m proud of, but when something bothers me I can’t help but moan. That negative energy really sucks my energy levels, as I focus on what’s wrong, and what I resent rather than accepting what is and getting on with it with a positive, light attitude.

I had a big wake up call, when I went out for lunch with a dear friend of mine. I began complaining about a certain thing that bothered me. She turned to me and said, ‘You know you really need to change your perspective.’ She then went on to outline how I was looking at the situation negatively and she painted it in the new, brighter colours of judging favourably. And she was a hundred percent right. You see she had spent the last year battling cancer with exhausting bouts of chemo. She had the right life perspective of what mattered.

I said to her, ‘You’ve changed. You’ve become softer.’ ‘No I haven’t,’ she replied. ‘I’ve become harder.’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘You want harmony and peace. You have no time for crap.’ She agreed. Her eyes which had always been sparkly, were brighter than ever. She had no time for crap. No time for anything that distracted her from life, and it’s beauty and all the simple, good things it had to offer.

Terminal illness does this. Tragedy in a community, like the passing of Sean Lipschitz does this. It’s a reminder to reconfigure our lives in ways that abound in gratitude, joy and light. To use our time on this earth for good. Not stuck in bitter and twisted thoughts (like how I hate having to do homework every night) that distracts us from our bountiful blessings. Everyone should have a friend like mine. Changing perspective is everything.