Fighting Burnout

It’s been a busy winter. Between work on the house, Denisa’s classes, my job, my writing, my church calling, kid wrangling, skiing, and countless other things, I feel like I’ve been pulled in a thousand directions at once. The good news is that there’s an end in sight. Denisa will be done with her classes this semester in just two more weeks. Once that happy day arrives, my own schedule doesn’t get any less hectic (I’ve got trips to DC and all over Maine coming up, then New Orleans, followed by Europe), but hers gets a lot lighter, which hopefully means it’s easier for us to stay on top of all the things we’ve got going on.

Not like all of this stuff is a pain. A lot of it is fun stuff we want to do. But the only way to get things done you want to do sometimes is to force yourself to do them, even when you don’t have time for it. And I’ve found that if I don’t force myself to do some of those things, they just don’t happen. At that point, what exactly is it that I’m doing? Running through life doing the things I have to get done and ignoring the things I wish I could do.

I’ve found when I look back at a time, I remember best those things I really wanted to do. All the busy slips away in memory, and I’m left with playing with the family, getting writing done, having snow days, watching movies, going on trips to cool places, etc. I’d much rather have that to look back on than a sea of tasks completed at work, chores done around the house, and life just lived, not relished.

So I press forward. But I have to take time now and then to breathe. To calm down some and just enjoy some time off. Typically I handle that by goofing around, playing video games and watching movies for a space of time most days, so I can recharge my batteries. Perhaps the reason I’m feeling so stressed at the moment is that I haven’t had the time to even do that the last while.

Having my house be a disaster doesn’t help. The bathroom renovation project (finished at last!) has put a big chunk of my living space in disarray. While I don’t mind a bit of clutter, I prefer it to be the right kind. My own clutter, where I know where it all came from, and I’m just too lazy to put it away. That’s the sort of clutter I can handle in an hour or two and feel good about myself. Power tools and construction materials in the middle of where I park my car or walk to get to my bedroom . . . is the wrong kind of clutter. It leaves me feeling unsettled, and I have a hard time really enjoying any relaxation.

It always feels like there’s something I should be doing instead.

But as I said: the end is nigh. Just a few more weeks, and things should get better. Right?


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