bugs bunny, looney tunes, tired, exhausted, burnt out, burnout

Burnt out?

What did you just say? What did I just say? What was I thinking? I can’t remember and I can’t be bothered to try to remember because I am done. I am so done. Are you done? Tired in an ‘unprecedented’ way. Weary. Older. Bored. Leaden. Not laughing enough. Far less effective. But broadly fine. Grateful – of course – as a kind of default. Have we stopped growing? Is this it?

Historically we have believed, haven’t we, that burnout comes from over-exertion: from rushing and whizzing and pounding away at life. From commutes and deadlines and trying to do everything and be everything.

And yet now, in this moment of semi-stillness, the pause button may have slowed down our geographical dashing, but it has only accelerated our inner flounder. The dull thrum of imprecise apprehension. The gratitude for semi-safety made weird by the ever-blooming realisation that there is little to get excited about.

And so we continue; each week a little less who we used to be and yet not knowing who we are evolving into. Knowing we don’t want to revert to the deranged whizzing but not hatching a plan for what the new framework might look like. Quieter. Greyer. Trying to be grounded. In our houses of un-fun. Doing everything a little bit badly.

As is so often the case; we must forgive ourselves. There is no need or expectation to be blossoming like a desert flower in the middle of a pandemic. In the middle of a scarily muted Brexit. In the middle of a truly terrifying American election. Some will bloom, sure. Some always will. They bloom like machines. But if you and I are needing to take things a little more slowly then so be it. I’ve gone floppy. Try it – compared to the internal hyper vigilance of recent months it’s a walk in the park.

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