Alert: Transparent Moment Approaching (lol)
I am back with another self-reflection post on the current state of my mind, body, and spirit, FATIGUE. Fatigue is defined as “extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion” (Oxford Dictionary). Y’all, I am exhausted. School, research, personal life, self-care, family, relationships, friends, and God included. I would be ashamed to say it, but I know I am not the only one. I have reached a point where everything is too much. I want to give my all to 150 things, but there is only one me. Also, I am definitely hard-headed and stubborn, so when my body gives me signs that too much is going on, I burst through the wall of pain and extreme fatigue like “girl bye!”
However, this is not good for my long-term health, mentally or physically. This fatigue is actually residual from all of the UNNECESSARY things I did in my undergraduate days. At that time, I honestly was not tired, and I genuinely wanted to help everybody, develop my leadership and team-building skills, be a great friend, and be a good student. However, if you ever heard of the triangle theory, where you can only have two and one fails, that was me. I got lost in the sauce and tried to give enough to everything, and because of my 100% mentality, I felt like a failure in it all. What everyone else saw as a smooth balancing act. I saw as a train wreck waiting to happen, but somehow I made it, but not unscathed.
Then there was graduate school, and now I was balancing a demanding (spiritually, mentally, and physically) job along with an intense graduate program. I had a didactic (instructional) portion that was expected to be retained and re-applied, with critical thinking, in the practicum (clinical) part. Whew! God was amazing because somehow I made it. Completely depleted, but I made it.
I found a great job and began working in my field; however, God quickly pulled, pushed, and dragged me to another journey. It was one thing after the next, and it always supported His plan, grad school again. Y’all should have been there the day I heard God say He wanted me to apply. I threw a complete tantrum. Really? Now? God, I wanted to wait at least 3 years. Can I not just be “normal,” live and finally make the salary I worked so hard for? However, I knew that obedience is always key to living out the plans God has for your life.
God led the way on this journey, so I knew it was all him. He took care of EVERYTHING! However, that fatigue and burnout from years ago still lingered and finally surfaced, BIG TIME! I honestly must not have learned the lesson from the first time, and I surely don’t want to go through this again, so I am going to start reflecting and learning. So far, I have determined that my time is my time, period. I can restrict people to a time bracket or just say no. Half of the time, they are not inconvenienced, you are. Second, “me time” is crucial. Not just a break once a day, but a whole entire day to say umm, excuse me, forget y’all and your plans! Sounds harsh, but I want to make my own schedule to do absolutely nothing if I want, and I should not feel bad about it at all. Third, I’ve learned that how hard I work myself is directly tied to how I love myself. If I know that overworking leads to poor health, then why do I continue to do it? Do I not think enough of myself to just say no to others and yes to myself? I took it as selfish, but so what. It’s essential. You cannot pour oil out of an empty vessel.
So, today I encourage you to reflect on how you are feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally. What have YOU done to aid in you getting to that place? What can you change? How do you plan to change it?