So as you may have noticed, my updates this past week have been a bit sparse. I haven’t put much thought into them, and even if no one else cares, they’ve felt like little more than token efforts to me. I’d like to talk a bit about why.
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I am an introvert (also, sarcastic). In other words, it takes effort and energy on my part to be social, and I need periodic downtime to myself to recharge. Luckily my girlfriend understands this, as she has similar reactions to social settings (although she hides it a bit better). Normally it’s not that hard to find time to recharge; one advantage of working early mornings is that I have large chunks of the afternoon to myself. But expending too much energy in too short a time has consequences, ones that can take longer than expected to pass.
And that’s kind of where I am. Last week was a very busy one socially. I ended up spending time with people that I only get to see occasionally, and while it was fun, I’m coming to realize it disrupted my equilibrium more than I thought. I’ve gotten better and pacing myself over the years, but I can still be blindsided by the amount of energy it can take to be social. So last week I overextended myself, and this week has been a busy one at work. Exacerbated, of course, by the fact that I was already running on fumes.
Normally when this happens I can just turn myself into a hermit for a week or two, in a kind of hard reset of my Spoon Bank. But for one reason or another, I haven’t been able to do that. I still feel like I’m running on fumes, and am likely going to have to do so through this next weekend as well.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy being social, or am not looking forward to a weekend with friends. I do and am, but I’m having to be very careful with how I allocate what resources I do have. Because unfortunately, the stage after Hermit is Funk; unable to attain the former, I will default to the latter. And I really don’t want to do that. Funks are still difficult to avoid, let alone get out of.
So that’s where I am. I’m in need of downtime, but am unable to get the needed amount in the immediate future. But I will cowboy up and press on, like a well-rounded, fully-functional adult who is in charge of their own life.
Well, fake it until you make it.
I know that one. I feel like most of this summer (and last winter, and the summer before that) has been running on fumes, just trying to keep enough left to do the next thing, pass through the next hurtle. It’s like starting a sprint and not realizing that it was a marathon – and then not having any signs to tell you how much longer you have to go before you are done. Just keep going, one more hill, one more mile, just over the next ridge – you can rest just over the next ridge – oop! nowhere to rest here – I’m sure there will be somewhere to rest just over the next hill.
I do it to myself, in a lot of respects – I could and should trim my social calendar to enforce rest time. Unfortunately, I haven’t really sat down and figured out where to trim or how much. A lot of the things I would consider easy to trim right now feel like I would be a slacker or let people down if I actually did trim them. I really shouldn’t be doing 2 practices a week. I really shouldn’t be going out of town every weekend. I really should do less social time, generally. I don’t really want to trim, is part of the issue – most things I do are fun and I enjoy them and I want to do more, but it’s just unsustainable. And it starts getting to that point where what used to be a lot of fun is just work. And you start telling yourself “You’ll have fun once you get there” and to an extent, it’s true – it is fun once you get there – but that little voice that kicks and screams and tells you not to get out of bed today might have a point.
I have no good solutions. Just sympathy.