I don’t like to complain. Because, for a long time, that’s the guy I was. I was a complainer. For a long time, the vast majority of my old blog consisted of complaints. Mostly, those complaints were based on a job that I despised. But those complaints on my blog bled over into Facebook status updates and, eventually, into real life. I allowed my circumstances to affect my attitude and I became a miserable human being.
I’m not that guy anymore. I’m in a different place now. I’m not just referring to the fact that I live in a different town in a different state. I’m also in a different state of mind I’m content with my place in the world. I daresay I’m happy about a lot of areas of my life. I’m not working in a job that I hate anymore. I can honestly stay that I love my work.
But just because it’s something I love doesn’t mean I can’t feel burned out. And I do. I know I’ve gone through this feeling of burn out before, even while in my current career. There’s a good chance I’ve written about feeling burned out on this very blog at some point in the past year. If I have and this is all a rerun, I apologize.
When I’m feeling good about things, when I feel like the job is going smoothly, it’s hard for me to even imagine feeling burned out. But I’m aware that the times of burn out are going to come. Because, when they come, they come with a vengeance. In those times, I carry on without blinking an eye, but deep inside me, I want nothing more than to smash my alarm and crawl back under the covers in order to sleep for the next two weeks.
I know this will come off as strange to anyone who is aware of what I do for a living or the setting in which I work. After all, I’m not even two weeks removed from a two and a half week winter break. What right do I have to feel like I need a break after having such a long break?
It’s a good question. And maybe I don’t have the right to feel that way. But, really, how many of us get through the holiday season unscathed, much less feeling relaxed? I may have been off work for two weeks, but I wasn’t on vacation. Life continued on and I continued living it. And it was filled with the same day to day stresses that persist in the real world.
The new year arrived. School started back up. And I’m once again met with endless paperwork and a tiresome commute. Despite my love for what I do and the kids with whom I work, I wake up in the early morning darkness and dread the day ahead. I force myself to get out of bed and trudge through my routine. I fight exhaustion throughout my long drive to work, knowing it would be so easy to just close my eyes. Without having even completed the first full week back in school, I’m ready to take some time off.
I’m ready for a change. I’m ready for a job that doesn’t require me to drive for an hour before sunrise just to get to work. I’m ready for a real vacation. I don’t just mean a week to sit at home, either. I mean a week (or more) in a place that’s unfamiliar where I can completely unplug and leave my worries at home. I haven’t been on a real vacation in nearly eight years. Ask anyone specializing in self-care, that’s too long.
But, until those changes come, until that vacation is possible, I carry on.