I Just Don’t Want to Be Busy Anymore
I work in tech, I’m a parent, and I’m struggling with burnout.
If I’m honest, I’ve been running on fumes for a while. But there were enough milestones along the way to keep chasing that next moment of reprieve. The vacation. The promotion. The vaccine. The remodel.
But then the fumes ran out. And a bunch of life things hit at once, and I couldn’t see any reprieve in my horizon.
At first I tried to stay in denial, flooding myself with positive affirmations in an attempt to manifest mental calmness.
“No way I’m burned out. Look at all the women that are actually suffering. Who am I but a privileged white chick taking up space.”
But I couldn’t shake the feeling. I’m an optimist by nature and I no longer recognized myself and where I was in my headspace. I worried about how I showed up for my family and team. I was experiencing all the symptoms of burnout I’m reading about in Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle — emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a feeling of low personal accomplishment.
I recently watched a presentation by Ashley Willis where she explained that people leave entire industries because of this. And it’s often misdiagnosed as depression. I believe it. I had started counting how much f-you money I had saved so I could just hide under a rock.
Once I accepted that yes, maybe I really am feeling this burnout thing everyone is talking about; I knew I had to be intentional in making a change around things that were giving me chronic stress.
Here’s what I did:
I figured out what I wanted and wrote it down so I don’t get lost again.
For me, I realized I wanted to be more present in my children’s lives. I no longer wanted to optimize my life with productivity apps and outsource activities to nannies (no shame though to those that do). I wanted to bask in all the mundane parenting things before my kids were all grown up. It irked me to think that my oldest may already be halfway through his “living-under-my-roof” chapter of his life.