B is for Burnout

Have you ever felt lost in your life, tired, unable to complete even simple tasks? Are things just so overwhelming that you just want to give up, maybe even run away from home in spite of your responsibilities? While this could point to a variety of things, one possibility is burnout, which I have recently had the displeasure to experience.

It’s no surprise to me that this happened really. I teach visual arts full time, and have my own glass art business and everything that entails. As if this isn’t enough, my youngest son is up to his eyeballs in hockey, meaning I am always on the road with him. And I do mean always. 3 weeks ago we travelled 10 hours to Boston for a tournament, and two weeks before 9 hours to Montreal. I do 100% of the driving. Now it is also baseball season here in Nova Scotia, so add more travel on top of that. As I write this, I have his hockey gear in the washing machine because he heads to a prospect camp tomorrow for 6 days 3 hours away. Oh, and I have to go outside a fix the clothesline because it collapsed again.

I had a bit of a meltdown recently where I advised those closest to me to get on board with helping or get out. It was my line in the sand. The jury is still out on how that will end up, but my son has recently figured out how to operate the vacuum, so that’s a start. My good friends asked me what I had done for just me lately, and I couldn’t think of anything. Someone it seemed selfish or irresponsible to do something just for me. I have another friend who is also experiencing burnout, and my advice to them was to take some time to do things they loved and forget about the rest, even for a day. Great advice, so why wasn’t I doing just that? Especially now that teaching is done until late August?

Time to take my own advice. I love adventure, and I’m part of a great group through Explore Magazine called Live the Adventure Club. So I pulled out my trail bike, and I’ve done a couple of 10km rides. Not a lot, but a start. Then I pulled out my son’s kayak (mine was driven over by a truck last September) and hit a local river. Both got me outside in nature and moving again. And you know what? I’m starting to get some energy and focus back

And you know what? I am sort of running away from home as well, going out west to Alberta in Two weeks, for 2 weeks, to hopefully the mountains and also to do some glass work and learn a few new techniques, cause I LOVE glass. And I’m bringing my sketchbook and pencils along with my hiking boots.

Stay tuned in a couple of days when I take a hike in the 100 islands of Nova Scotia, a couple of hours away. My challenge to you is to do one thing just for yourself today, it doesn’t matter how small.

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