Summer burn-out. I keep telling myself that’s what I have. It’s been incredibly hot here in KC. So hot, that I haven’t been able to breathe when I go outside (Damn asthma), so I’ve been holed up at home since we got back from Nashville. If you add the upper respiratory infection that I had last week to the mix, I’m just not motivated to do much of anything and who can blame me? When it’s 100+ degrees out and you feel like crap, it’s easy to experience burn-out. Right? Sadly, I’m not 110% sure that’s the only thing going on and there’s one triggering event that I can attribute to my laissez-faire attitude our month-long hospital stay last year.
If you spend 30 days straight not sleeping, fighting with doctors and worrying about your child, your life will change. Despite the fact that all of us were more than familiar with the beast that is chronic illness before the hospital stay, I have to admit that the experience forever changed how I view our health care system, my child and myself. After sleeping non-stop for a couple of weeks after our stay, I decided that for the rest of my life, I would break my rule that I can’t sleep in. There was no longer a good reason to walk around exhausted if a half hour of sleep would help. And, let’s face it, I don’t have a commute so why punish myself.
I also decided that it was time to back away from blogging a bit not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I no longer wanted to feel like I had to. For the first time in years, I abandoned an editorial calendar and a schedule. I stopped taking opportunities that I didn’t feel passionate about (how many times can you talk about peeing your pants) and I backed away from many of the commercial aspects of blogging. The result? A huge dip in traffic and income. However, it’s given me a little personal freedom to not feel pressured to write and that’s what I needed to recover from emotional exhaustion.
You see, my burn-out isn’t because I’m lazy or apathetic. It’s what happens to most caregivers– they become completely exhausted and get sick themselves and honestly, I don’t want that to ever happen to me. So, I’ve had to slow down a bit. Realize that I’m not super human and make some decisions to take care of myself first, even if that means we may be eating Ramen noodles for a while. July has been my month to take a step back from everything and re-group and I’ve decided that’s okay.
I’ve learned a lot this month. My family didn’t die when I fed them leftovers out of the freezer and we didn’t sit down to a meal. My LuLaRoe business didn’t totally tank without an in-home pop-up. I didn’t lose a bunch of social media followers when I didn’t post all the time or schedule tweets and yes, my blog traffic sucks but it’s still there and as soon as I start to promote again, it will come back.
I’m now a firm believer that there are times in life when you need to watch too much Netflix and take a nap. That there are times when it’s warranted to be lazy. Burn-out is the real deal and it can’t last forever. Now, I need to make a plan to use a couple of massage gift certificates that I have…