Far out, man.
I’d be hard pressed to pick a period of time in which I’ve been more hectic than I have been the past few weeks.
In fact, when I sat down at my desk today, I glanced at the papers strewn across it, including a very dated and half-completed to-do list, and realised I had not touched my laptop or sat down in my nice cushy IKEA chair for an entire two weeks!
It’s been that long since I threw together a blog post, too, which is hideous as I try hard to get the weekly blog posts happening with regularity.
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you will know a bit about what’s been keeping me flat out in the writing space: a couple of really big wins that I will dedicate my next blog post to. I’d talk about them now, but it’s already 11pm and I’m knackered.
The other weight on me has been work. Like a lot of authors, I juggle a whole bunch of part-time and casual roles (and, foolishly, some voluntary ones, too). Usually this is manageable, but lately all of them have demanded my time at once, and I’ve found myself feeling like I’m desperate for air but stuck underwater. I am totally overwhelmed and the situation I’ve put myself in is quite clearly no longer manageable.
I blogged in July about this same sense of burnout, and it is becoming really clear to me that I still haven’t learned my lesson.
There is a latter-day Alanis Morissette song (circa 2008) called “It’s a Bitch To Grow Up”, and some of the lyrics are hitting home right now.
Namely the verse:
I’ve repeated this dance ad nauseum
There’s still something to learn that I’ve not
This is really so true. I have burnt out a few times now. As in, ending up in hospital kind of burn out. And like a magpie attacking its reflection in a flying rage, I somehow keep repeating the same mistake ad nauseum.
I’m an ambitious person by nature, so I like to take on more and more stuff, but I really have to come to grips with the fact that I can’t do everything at once. It’s just not possible, especially when I have five different paid jobs, a couple of voluntary positions and a writing career. It’s lunacy.
And as I’ve already established through my musings on this blog and elsewhere, writing is the thing that matters most to me.
So I think it’s time I learn that I can’t do a million things at once without making myself sick. I need to stop. I need to slow down. I need to recalibrate and work out how to run my life effectively in a way that allows me to prioritise my writing career without letting the day jobs and other commitments choke all the air out of the room.
I really just need to learn how to take care of myself, don’t I?
As Alanis said:
I feel done, I feel raked over coals
and all that remains is the case
That it’s a bitch to grow up