Sitting at desk. Staring at screen. Nothing happening. Sitting in meeting. Thinking should be contributing. Nothing happening. And so I turn away from myself. Lazy. Incompetent. Guilty of all manner of crimes. About to be found out. Stare at screen more. Still nothing. Nothing to say. Nothing to give. Am, in fact, nothing. See how it spirals?
Because I am not nothing. Neither are you. What I am is tired and experiencing low-level burn out. These are the signs. What is the point of me? Why can’t I pour from this empty cup? Stupid cup. Smash the cup.
I should know, by now, that this is what happens to me in early summer. I am not good at taking holidays. I can’t afford winter sun. I have a lot of work to do. I am not part of a 2:2 family so, in terms of ‘taking a break’ I am unsure as to where I am meant to go and what I am meant to do.
And so people like me push on, with less and less traction, more and more worry, less and less perspective, until it leads to a kind of paralysis. Too weary to work or play, too bewildered to book anything.
What I SHOULD do is think ahead. May is the armpit of my year in terms of energy and mental horsepower. I should know that. I know that five days before my period I am angry. I know that when I wake up at 4:30am I am unable to go out that evening. I know that eating curry is a gamble these days. I also know that pressurising my already tired self is just pressing the bruise that is my self-esteem. I am booking something before this day is done. My work wife says I have to. And she knows better. My advice to you? If you are stalling left right and centre but you’re not sure why, find someone who knows you better. Listen. You will tell yourself that this isn’t possible and that isn’t reasonable and the other is for other people. But you are tired and probably wrong. Take a break before you break. That is strength.