I love Wonder Woman.
I secretly dream of being her...racing around in tight pants and wrist cuffs.When I'm ploughing through heavy work periods I can feel like her.
Recently, I've had to admit to myself that I am no Wonder Woman.
Owning a pair of Wonder Woman pants and a matching mug has not enabled me with her amazing superpowers nor the ability to never….burnout.
I thought I’d got on top of this burnout malarkey eons ago. Yet recent evidence suggests quite the opposite. Damn.
If you’ve read my about dal page I mention that over the years I’ve burnt out several times. Much of it was work related, some life related. In the past, I’ve burnt the wick at both ends and been forced to stop by illness, overwhelm and just plain mental and emotional exhaustion. After taking time out to replenish my soul, I’ve always come back bouncier, wiser and with new tools to keep burnout at bay. I thought I’d cracked it.
Fast forward several years to late Spring 2014…
I was happily working part time whilst getting this new website written and up and running. I was buzzing, working intensively to deadlines and also learning new skills both in my part-time job and during the website creation. These two roles absorbed all my time and there didn’t seem to be a spare moment to squeeze ME time in.
For the most part it was exciting and exhilarating, I felt endlessly creative. Even a week before crashing out I was amazing myself at my own productivity, ability to juggle tasks and to keep it all together. I indeed felt like Wonder Woman!
The Burnout Hug…
I didn’t realise it at the time that burnout had started to wrap it’s sticky little fingers around me. Almost overnight I felt completely knackered. I stopped enjoying the technicalities of getting this gorgeous little website done, my part time job was great but I was dragging myself through the hours. My motivation and passion disappeared completely. My head hurt. I couldn’t sleep. Why was I so tired? I was after all…a Wonder Woman! Ha haa! I felt confused.
I awoke one night in May thinking why is the left side of my face so sore? It was too painful to even gently touch. Hola atypical shingles, minus the blisters. I thought shingles is what older people got. Not me! The shingle bells knocked me out for 6 whole weeks.
I was forced to STOP. I felt incredibly frustrated. I felt so ill. My body just wouldn’t behave. Burnout was hugging me tight and refused to let me go. The Wonder Woman pants had lost their power.
Yet my SOUL was happy...
Very very happy.
After a relentless 18 months including a very ill father, a bucket load of dentistry, emigration plans, a relationship breakup, a seriously ill friend, the sudden death of a close friend life demanded a lot more from me than usual. It just seemed impossible for me to jump off the roller coaster - things had to be done. Life happened and it wasn’t slowing down.
Or maybe it was me who was refusing to slow down?
The shingle bells gave me the opportunity or rather excuse to BE STILL. Inwardly, I felt every part of my being heaving a huge sigh of relief. Week by week I felt me, myself and I finally catching up with my soul.
And it feels pretty blissful.
*Thank you shingle bells and The Burnout Hug for the gift of rest.