I’ve had a month from hell.
(actually, about 6 months, but the last one was particularly hell-ish)
We launched the month of March with a crisis at work. That same week, I got sick. I stayed sick for 3 weeks. And then got sick again on two separate occasions thereafter. And through all this, I could not really take any time out, because a crisis needs handling, and my team and managers needed me.Then I’d come home, and my child and husband would need me to be ‘present’ and functional too.
I’ve just felt as though I’ve been tossed back and forth, chewed and spat out several times a day, day in and day out. It’s so easy to fall into self-pity when you’re exhausted, and self-pity is the glowing ember that flares into anger very quickly, at the tiniest fart of a breeze.
(Yes, I just said that)
I got to a breaking point this week. I received some really discouraging news, that just finished me off. But most of all, I realized how very tired I’ve become. Too tired to cry, too tired to even care. My word for that day was “Flatline” – I felt nothing.
It’s said that over-exhaustion destroys a person’s conscience, and that it creates psychopathy in a person. I can believe that. When you look at a hungry and cold, homeless person, and cannot feel for them. When you hear of terror and mayhem on the news, and cannot bring yourself to pray for your broken and desperate country….
I could sense that I was going that way. And for me – a normally compassionate and people-loving person – it was an eye-opener. I’m going psycho.
So here is what I am learning – to be gracious with myself, a little less militant with my self-talk, and to be more reasonable with my expectations of myself…
Kirsty, you’ve done a good job on that. Leave it now, it doesn’t need to be perfect.
Kirsty, those few dishes can wait until the morning. Go to bed now.
Kirsty, that email is important. But so are you – go home, and respond tomorrow.
Kirsty, you are only one person. Pick a task and do that one properly. Then pick another.
Kirsty, stop try to get everything done. Hug your child. Look into your husband’s eyes. Those are the things that matter.
The thing is, most of the “motivation” we see out there constantly yells at us about “how to achieve”. How to self-improve! How to get that skill! How to climb the corporate ladder! How to follow your dreams! How to be a super-mom! How to be a better leader! How to make your husband happy!
The scary thing is, there’s no one out there saying: “HOW TO REST.”
The world would rather sell you a pack of Berocca’s, than give you down-to-earth, practical advice (and PERMISSION) to simply… Rest.
And we wonder why the world is plagued by psychopath-ism. I’m not talking axe-murderers, although there are enough of those too. I’m talking about people who just don’t care anymore.
We are a tired generation. We think that it’s normal and we just keep going. And we raise our children to think it’s normal, and they fall into the same hell-on-earth pace that we live in.
I am writing to tell you: it is not normal. You have the right to choose not to be burnt-out. You have the right to look at your life and decide if all the ‘achievement’ is worth the exhaustion. Worth the sickness that comes with fatigue. Worth losing your marriage over. Worth losing your temper with your child. Worth becoming psychopathic, only half the human you were designed to be.
It is your right. But ultimately: it is your choice.