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Nervous Energy

Nervous Energy is my term, made up by me, and shall henceforth be stated as NE. NE is what Twenty Somethings feel, being newly freed from the constraints of family, and now earning their own money, diving into the great mystery of life with its most important question being, "What shall I do on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night?"

When I became a widow, at the age of 49, and had gone through the worst of my grieving process, I began to experience NE. There I was at the young age of 51-52. I wasn't necessarily looking for music, booze, and laughter but, after work days I found myself filled with strange bursts of energy that seemed to have no direction or purpose. The idea was to find an outlet for this direct current that was bouncing off the four walls of my house. I did find time to go out with the girls. I tried solo travel (a little expensive for this single working woman). I tried, but just wasn't that into arts and crafts. I did join a gym and got myself into pretty darn good shape (I also slept better at night). Still, I never did answer the question, "What is the purpose of NE?"

I eventually married again, not because I thought marriage was the only thing that gave purpose to my life, but, because I loved the guy. Go figure. Well, life did settle down and the NE blasts just ceased to be, probably because even the best of marriages use a lot of energy. No more ray gun blasts on the walls for the next twelve years. Then, I became a widow again, and the NE returned, again. I did find a community and a home of my very own. I found new friends, and I found activities...lots and lots of activities. I filled my daily life with them until I would fall into bed at night and sleep well.

The problem was, just like Twenty Somethings stuffing their empty spaces in time, I was still missing the point. My NE isn't to be used to fill empty spaces. It is there to provide power to fulfill those "What Ifs" and "Why Nots" and Dreams that could become realities now that you have the space. NE can provide power to dig out that Bucket List of things that are important to you, while there is still time.

The discovery of writing, on the list in my bucket, was a lovely chapter added to my life. Cheryl, an avid swimmer, has pulled from her list. She teaches a group of us water aerobics, so we can keep our bodies lean and mean. Sharon has joined the "Recycle Team" to gather the cans and bottles we dutifully save, haul them down to the recycle center, and bring back checks for our community so we can do fun stuff. I notice more and more people finding meaningful bucket list activities.

Yes, God gives us NE to move us on to research more meaningful endeavors. I don't believe He wants us to fill our empty spaces with fluff and stuff. I believe He gives us NE to use on that list in that bucket. Come on, you know the bucket I'm talking about, the one in your heart's utility closet.

I just wish I had realized that in my twenty-somethings.

Partial view of an artist's rendering of a face showing one eye.Skin is made up of spark plugs.


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Kim Doninger
Kim Doninger
Apr 18
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Definitely food for thought 🤔

Apr 14
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

So true and never too late!

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