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Vacations, Burnout and Everything in Between

on 21 August 2017 at 05:22:19 MDT

So the past week was set aside as a vacation; full time off of work where my friends had organized two weekend events after another. I attended a LAN party two weekends ago, and I got back from a weekend-long house party just yesterday.

Unfortunately, despite the rest of the week being a fantastic time throughout, it ended on a very sour note when on the last day, I fell victim to what was either mild food poisoning or gastroenteritis. It ultimately left a very bad impression on me since I missed out on a lot on that last day, while having an awful time all on my own. It's nobody's fault (unless someone fucked up when handling the food, but that's just speculation) but it's still what I personally experienced.

This pretty much sullied what would have otherwise been a great way to recharge myself and get back to work this week. No such luck - I don't feel up to doing anything today.

So this journal isn't just a dull vent post, I want to lead from discussing what feels like a somewhat wasted break into the subject of expectations and burnout.

Basically, I don't know what burnout feels like. I don't know what to do about it. I was tempted to also say "any more," but I'm not sure if I ever did. Ever since I got my first job, I always wondered if my exhaustion from working was just my own innate laziness/aversion to making an effort. That assumption never really went away, since I know there are a lot of things that energize me despite the time and dedication they demand.

This month marks one whole year of me being on Patreon. It's been a very positive experience overall, but I mention it because it's been a combination of both improved personal standards and higher expectations. I've learned a lot and gotten better at what I do, but in turn I've wanted to do a lot more with my time and effort. This added ambition can be best described as a double-edged sword, because it's done me just as much harm as it has good. Falling short of goals is easier to consider a failure than a partial success; "better than having never tried."

I understand that nothing ever really goes according to plan, and sometimes even for the better - as is the case for me in many ways, to be sure. Be that as it may, the interruptions and distractions have led to a lot of frustrations for me and obsessing with falling well short of the mark. Procrastination, fear and apprehension, self-doubt... You name it, it's a plausible explanation for what I've held myself back with.

Perhaps being able to shut off the "what if" part of our brains would be beneficial from time to time, just focusing on the here and now and figuring out what's the most helpful course of action.

Sitting around and feeling sorry for myself, and thinking about how all my ongoing projects could fail certainly isn't doing any good, for starters.

I'm sorry. Hopefully the next journal update will be a bit more upbeat or at least contain a few more answers than difficult questions, but I really needed to get all these thoughts out of my system before they grew too toxic.

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