Combatting Burnout (Plague, Day 140, August 9, 2020)

I found the draft of the blog post that I was writing when the power went out last week. It was about being burned out. It started…

Last week, I was bone-tired. There was too much on plate. I was parenting two kids, educating them, feeding them, taking care of the younger guy’s ongoing medical issues, writing and all the stuff that goes along with the writing process, dealing with a contractor and the insurance company about flooded ground floor, going to the physical therapist to treat “frozen shoulder,” and meeting with semi-hostile school administrators about the coming year.

And then the power went out for three days, and I had to clean out the fridge. The contractor started work on the ground floor, so I had to deal with constant banging and questions. An army of sugar ants conquered the kitchen. And I started a new essay.

I am tired, layered on exhaustion, topped with a big dose of weary.

Just about everyone that I talk to these days, especially if they have kids, is just exhausted. Every little task — going to the supermarket or going to the doctor for a check-up — requires extra thought and preparation. Sunday dinner with the folks has to happen outside and nobody can help schlep the stuff from the kitchen to the back patio.

Everything is just extra.

So, self-care is super important right now. Sometimes I need an afternoon to just play super-dumb games on the iPhone. Sometimes I boost my spirits by making food or playing with books.

And my gang each has their own “things” that make them feel normal. Jonah watches European soccer matches. Steve makes pickles. Ian plays with the code on “Garry’s Mod” and makes music.

What are you doing to feel normal in these very weird times?