At Capacity

I post on here a lot about all the things I do. About the goals I make and the order I bring into my life so that I can get all the different things I want to do done. But it occurred to me today that one thing I haven’t posted about is a rather serious side effect of all that. Something that happens to me on a fairly regular basis.

I get burned out.

It doesn’t (thankfully) throw me off my game for too long, but there are days when I just look at all the things I have planned for myself, and I don’t want to do any of them. It’s not that I have something else I’d rather do. It’s that I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to write, don’t want to read, don’t want to play games, don’t want to watch movies, don’t want to clean, don’t want to get chores done, don’t want to go outside, don’t want to exercise, don’t want to do anything at all.

This can be a really frustrating experience, especially when I’m so used to getting so much done. But I think it’s a reaction to that. I have my days pretty well planned out before the week begins, and there’s not a whole lot of room in them for error. Before I open my eyes each day, there’s a brand new list of chores and responsibilities I need to get done, and it’s typically the same chores and responsibilities I needed to get done the day before.

Not that I think I’m alone in this. We all have our routines and responsibilities, right? But I do wonder if my hyper goal setting lifestyle makes me more susceptible to it than most. It’s like those goals feel like a weight around my neck, pulling me down constantly. They’re not particularly heavy, but they’re constant. Always there. The only day I usually take off is Sunday, and part of me is beginning to wonder if that’s healthy for myself.

The thing is, it feels wrong to take Saturdays off as well. After all, those are the days I don’t have my regular work, so I theoretically have all this extra time anyway. What’s a half hour of exercise and an hour of writing? The exercise will help me to stay healthy and thin, and the writing . . . if I were to give up writing on Saturdays, I’d end up with 52,000 fewer words written per year. That’s a whole lot of words, folks, and I just don’t feel comfortable shutting the door on that productivity.

So instead I push through. Even on the days I don’t feel like getting anything done. I force myself to go on and churn through that to do list, item by item. But what this also means is that I often don’t feel like doing anything else. Like anything added to my to do list is going to break me. This is Not a Good Thing when it comes to a happy family life, since there are often things I need to do as a father or husband to help out. My kids will need help with homework. Denisa will need help around the house. And ironically, even fun things we want to do as a family can feel like a burden when I’m feeling burned out. They somehow transform into just another item on the to do list that needs to be checked off before I can be finished.

I don’t have any real solutions here to give you. No bright ideas about how I handle this, though I assume many of you deal with the same struggles. I really just wanted to take the time to post this so that if there are those of you out there who are facing the same issues, you realize you’re not facing them alone. We always try to present our best face to the public, and that can lead to a lot of insecurity and self doubt when life for us seems so much more difficult than life for others.

And that’s all I really have to say about that now.

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