Guys, I am burned-out! Maybe it’s that end of winter blah feeling we all know so well. Maybe it’s my 6 days a week work schedule. I haven’t had a day off for more than a month. Or, maybe it’s the 1 full pound of sugar and 100 fluid ounces of Diet Coke I consume daily (they say that both are just like mood-altering drugs). Whatever it is, I just can’t be happy.
My first sign of burnout is deep fatigue. I drag myself around – drag out of bed, drag through the motions of getting ready for work, drag myself to the car and then to my desk. It’s all a drag. Fatigue is followed by crying. I’ll be on the edge of tears all day long without knowing why. I just walk around with my eyebrows pulled together and thinking, “I want to cry.” Sierra used to announce her crying, back when she was little (and this last Christmas when I beat her soundly at Apples to Apples). Little Sierra’s eyes would well up with tears and her face would scrunch and she’d say, “Crying. I’m crying Angie.” It was cute. It’s not so cute when I do it.
It doesn’t take long to realize that all of the tears are because I’m tired, and then a good nap or long night’s sleep will do the trick, maybe a weekend of naps. If that doesn’t work, if the burnout is determined to get me, then I slowly digress into the next step – grumpiness. It starts with periodic mild irritation and grows to all out, uncontrollable anger. I’m mad about everything – going to work, going home, people talking to me when I’m not in the mood (which is always), nothing good to eat in the fridge… it doesn’t matter what’s going on, I’m mad about it. This morning some of the guys were standing by my desk just having a friendly chat, and while doing the blank stare and nodding I was thinking, “This is boring. I don’t care about anything you’re saying. This is intolerable. I’M BORED TO DEATH. GET OUT! ” By the way – that’s another sign of burnout. Everything is so, so boring.
That’s where I’ve been for a couple of weeks now. I need a break, a vacation, a yacht on the sea. Luckily, my birthday is coming up, so I’ve scheduled a few days off. No plans really (and certainly no yacht) but just some time away from work will be nice. And, today I took a walk up by City Creek and saw green grass alongside the water, and a bunch purple crocuses blooming in someone’s front yard. I almost cried again. It was a sign of hope. Even though the wind was cold, there in the patchy snow was evidence of change and a new season.
So if you’re wrapped up in your house fighting off the cold and a deep desire to quit your life all together, or maybe to kill people, don’t despair. It’s almost Spring.