sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 16, 2020

one day at a time
posted by soe 1:32 am

Three days down, one to go with this particular work event. By six tomorrow evening, I should be free to enjoy the weekend.

As with many of the things I do with this job, the work is new and challenging — and requires a lot of me. I learn a lot and I help those in real need (more directly than I might otherwise have expected) and I get to work with some pretty spectacular people, both from my organization and from the larger community. I’d like to think that I’m getting to be better at what I do each day.

But there is definitely a psychic toll to a job where one is always learning and always helping and where the need stretches on indefinitely before you. And that is maybe where I struggle most with this position, particularly now.

In a pre-COVID world, I would have taken trips to the beach and would have spent Friday evenings watching outdoor movies or at concerts under the stars with friends. I would have played volleyball a couple times a week and gone swimming on the weekend and biked to cafes to read while leisurely sipping lemonade. I would have gone to see my parents every couple of months and had rejuvenating lunches with my best friend. I would have taken time away from work to recharge.

And with none of those things really being an option anymore, I’m just not doing that. Even now, as I’m writing this on a Saturday night, I’m thinking about how I need to put together a document for tomorrow morning and wondering if I should open my work laptop to just get it done.

As my boss keeps telling me (from beneath her own, even taller mountain of work), I need to find some time to take off to avoid burning out. But how do I do that and what do I do when I’m not supposed to travel (even though so many other people seem to be disregarding that)? Work will continue to be only a few feet away no matter what.

Please don’t think that I’m really complaining (although I’m definitely whining). I know how lucky I am. So many people are facing real hardship, and my challenges finding balance are insignificant compared to those facing health issues and economic insecurity and having to make life-and-death choices about sending their kids to school and reporting for work and being safe in a myriad of other ways.

So as the world’s tiniest violin plays, I will go and wash the dishes and then get some sleep. Because whether I recharge enough or not, the work awaits again in the morning.

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