Good tired means I've been working, using energy well, wearing myself out in a positive way. Muscles might be sore, a little tense, but it's a productive feeling. Spring gardening is one way to reach a good tired feeling.
Raking, shoveling soil, squatting to plant seeds, all this takes energy. As recently as a month ago, I wasn't sure I had the energy to do any of these tasks. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't, but I know that now I can handle it. I worry, though; am I overdoing?
Bad tired happens when I wake up in that dark cloud, the dark cloud that holds me to the bed and makes me wonder if it's worth even walking into the kitchen and turning on the coffeepot. Bad tired is not having the emotional energy to walk outside, much less get the trowel and seeds and get the planting started.
Bad tired feels like "Why bother?" Bad tired is dragging through mud, trudging up the same section of path over and over until I give up. Bad tired is a night when I feel tired, but not sleepy, and get tense just thinking of how tired I'll be in the morning if I don't sleep well. Bad tired, you can see, is a vicious cycle.
Bad tired happens less often now. I credit my garden with a lot of the good tired. That little patch of dirt that hosts the seeds and seedlings each summer is also a source of motivation for me. The internal energy that says, "Plant now, you'll be glad later!" leads to the good tired, the feeling that I've accomplished something. I have more to plant in the next two weeks, and that's good. Energy still isn't at its normal level, so spreading out the efforts is the best way to handle this. If I overdo and collapse from exhaustion, my two steps forward will yield two steps back, and then it's back to bad tired.
Deep breath: I brought in the tools. Now the rain can come and soak the seeds. I'm going to take a nap, and it's a good tired.