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Some days it feels like life is happening to me. My days are filled with other people's priorities. I get to the end of the day and realize that the day flew past me, I was barreling through tasks so fast that I'm not even sure that I was working towards anything.

As I've gotten older I've been able to recognize that we all have busy seasons in our life, that we ebb and flow through. But there is also this deeper dulling type place that sneaks up on us from time to time. We let life keep moving at such a rapid pace, trying to complete all the things, be there for all the people, and it starts to become this rhythm. Not a pretty one, but this dark repetitive drum that you feel more than hear.

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” – Lily Tomlin

It's easy to spot burnout in other people, isn't it? You know, the ones that need more than to just get a good night's sleep. They need a break from their life; all the responsibilities. all the meetings. all the deadlines. Our neighbor's company requires them to take a month long sabbatical every 5 years. I used to wonder how the company would function without their staff for so long. But once you see how full of life and energy they are when they return, you realize the value was greater than the sacrifice. They come back with more energy in their tank and ready to tackle bigger things.

But what about those of us that can't take serious time off? We have real commitments and deadlines and time off feels more stressful than helpful.

I was talking about slowing down in a previous post, how I want to hurry up to get to the slowed down pace. Even with acknowledging that I am the cause of my own stress, oof, I still struggle with giving myself grace.

This week, I hit a point where it was all too much. I am taking 4 classes. I am continuing to build out my website/shop. I am working on patterns for a fabric/wallpaper collection. I am editing Etsy listings. I am learning a new membership hosting site so that when I launch the membership, that it will be intuitive for the members. And maintaining life as usual- dinners, dog, family, health & wellness, etc.

And I'm doing the things I'm going to tell other people not to do.

well, that was painful to write. 

So what do I do when I'm nearing burnout but can't slow the train? I collect my thoughts to remember my why. I've let the creep set in, where good things became the focus. I could focus on my why with each area of my life- why do I have an Etsy shop, why am I building the website, why am I starting a membership, etc. But then I'd just have new resolve in every area. I need to go back to my big dream. Remember where I want to be in one year, five years, etc.

Then look at everything from a project manager's perspective. What is the most important piece that will propel me towards my goal faster? Which things could be ignored for a bit and still be okay? Which things are less about completion and more about my mental wellbeing?

Why is that last one so important? Because it's what helps with burnout the most. Yes, getting to your goal is important- but once you get there, you'll just make new goals, right? If you haven't built space into your life for things that bring you joy and laughter and peace and fulfillment, then life feels like a hamster wheel. Wake up, work, sleep, repeat.

“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home . . . it’s your responsibility to love it or change it.” -Chuck Palahniuk

So I will be over here practicing what I'm preaching, leading from the front. I am pausing from the busyness of doing tasks, to thinking through the bigger picture so my work can be more focused, and so I can read the dang book for enjoyment not completion.

Warmest regards,

(There's this fine balance of telling people what you're building so they can see where you're headed and are looking forward to it and keeping it to yourself so you can work at your own safe pace. And I clearly have not mastered this skill.)


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