Just imagine you are thirsty.

To be thirsty can be a fatal thing. Especially at sporting adventures when your drinking bottle is empty.

If someone has run out of water or his isotonic drink he or she is badly off.

That is why bicyclists on tour are well supplied by the organiser: On cycle tours ( maybe you call it bike trips, my English writing skills are … a catastrophy, well, at least I know how to emphasise catástrophy. That is something, isn’t it? ).

On such tours there are resupply stations (?) at regular intervals. Here sportspeople get some “niblets” ( in German we call it “Häppchen”, a small piece of food ), their bananas and – of course – water.

Otherwise we would “fall from the saddle” or keel over, as you might say?

On steamships, you must know, they had to coal more than enough. And “enough” that meant to provide for all possible events: I suppose, “better save than sorry” gets to the heart of this circs of deep-sea shipping.

When I try to explain the “circs” of my dailylife, I often use this comparison: If the bottle is empty, there is no way forward.

In other words: I have forgotten to coal enough energy for my day, a meeting, a special occasion? I can pack in and go home – if that is possible. ( Sometimes an empty place, a church, a city park will do ).

Sounds like a “normal” everyday exhaustion to you? Well, it’s not just that.

Tiny changes e.g. in everyday school life ( “Classes are taking places in another building!” ), at university ( an unknown supply teacher took over classes ), at work (“Listen everbody! No class outing [‘hiking day’] today: We are doing some workout on the sporting field instead!” ) and similar tiny little unsignificant changes really put stress on me.

Well, on the face of it such situations are easy to cope with. But they take … they rob plenty of my energy in a minimum of time.

I beginn to totter, mentally, emotionally and physically. And I’m sorry … sometimes I get angry and even snap at the people I like.

In times where your parents or teachers take care of you or even some schoolmates, or when fellow students notice in a lecture that you are stambling a little bit, well at least somebody is around.

Living on your own, things looks differently:

It is really important 1) to make sure that your bottle is always well-filled and 2) to keep it handy.

That goes for the real bottle as a “repository”, important for a sufficient supply with water for example.

That goes for bottle in a figurative sense, meaning to conserve your strengh, your energy and your “shields” in your every day challenges!

A few weeks ago I had to chair ( to moderate ? ) a tiny little meeting. I forgot to take care for myself, to be mindful of my “bottle”. The preparation for this new and unknown situation took strength and “gnawed” in advance at my sleep.

Then I panicked, but an acquaintance was able to rescue me.

Later on I was lucky to go to a small and quiet restaurant to have something to eat ( important for me: food = energy ).

Following this, there was another appointement … tearing at my shields: Again people around me talking on stuff that really interests me. But these talks demand my attention again.

And above all there was this plan in my head “This weekend you were supposed to do this, that and the other! This weekend you were supoosed to do this, that and the other!” flashing like warning lights in my head.

To the cosy get-together that followed I should have said ‘No, thanks.’ As I find it difficult to say no I found myself in a public house: The conversation, that damned background music, just laud enough to understand just some syllables, the murmuring at the tables next to ours …

And so it happened that early that evening my bottle was already empty. The coal was largely burnt.

Like on cycle tours, without resupply stations at regular intervals there is no way forward. And for every single day I have to coal sufficiently – providing for all possible events.