I am not marching today and am cranky about missing it. I am grateful for each person who invests in the action to halt what I refuse to believe is the “new normal.” ‘Nuff said about that.
As this week progressed, I found myself holistically bankrupt, with scarcely ANY resource left inside of me to offer to anyone, especially myself.
When I feel as if I’m starting to burn out, I am already so depleted, I don’t realize that I’ve been fried and burnt to a crisp for some time.
Today, after a good night of rest, I am reminded of the seriousness of burnout. I unknowingly liquidated myself into such a state of ashy goo, I couldn’t see straight.
I have been here before and before that and even before that. What have I learned from my history of burnout?
The answer is really simple. I’ve learned a lot. I know burnout sucks. What’s most important, is for me to become a better observer of what leads me to running on fumes:
While I practice mindfulness and meditation, I think as I om all over the place, I’m not really dealing with my very active perfectionism.
Over the past few weeks, I’d hear the committee in my head say, (loudly):
“C’mon Pam… What in the hell is wrong with you? Get ALL of your work completed, even if you’re just one person, then get more work done, (and then some). Be the great mom you need to be for the girls, while you get the vegan split pea soup in the slow-cooker, and bake fresh bread. Stop eating Tootsie Rolls! Do you need those cashews? AND… no matter what, do not complain about anything. Put up and shut up. Just push through.
It’s not just about work, being a rock star single mother, serving hot meals, being the perky schlepper, or being the obviously charming woman Bradley Cooper seeks.
It’s about my recent approach to absolutely everything — the lens that sees what I haven’t accomplished or have accomplished, but not to my standards. I have set myself up to fail, once again.
I am grateful to acknowledge this. As I begin to question,
How can I possibly be here again? How could I not know this backwards and forwards by now?
I will not criticize when I actually “get” something. I will release my perfectionism, perfectly. In other words, I will behave like someone who has flaws and is accepting of her own limits and imperfections.
There, that’s better.
As I look to my right, I see a pile of dirty laundry. I have a lengthy grocery list and an even larger list of work deliverables, most of which have hard deadlines.
All things, while messy, are currently in their rightful place. They are simply there, but not a sign of all of my failings. PUH-leeeeeeeze.
My prayer for you and for me, is to be mindful of being kind to ourselves. I pray that we notice the good and the kind and the grace in today and that we hold forgiveness like the gift that it is. This is as important for ourselves as it is for our fellows.
I would never treat you the way that I treated myself over the past few weeks. While I recover from total exhaustion and physical illness, in this moment, I feel mentally and spiritually fit.
It’s just about perfect, really.