One of the hardest things I have to learn, is how to pace myself. The more I love something, the more energy I expend upon it, the faster I burn out. It is counter-intuitive that in order to sustain myself, I have to moderate the way I love.
It is not helping that I am constantly feeling like I am in a race against time. The more I understand morality, the more I accept transience, the more I wish to cherish the present, the more I try to squeeze what I can in these moments. I end up asking more of myself, I just want to do more of everything, deathly afraid that one day I will lose the privilege of doing the things I love. It is not just about me either, at the back of my head I am always aware that the planet is also in a race against time. I don’t feel good at all that San Francisco is experiencing twenty-something degree celcius weather in mid-february.
I feel like I either need to be either always working or have my head in a book, so I am not taking even a single second for granted. As a result, I have been having a chronic strain in my eyes, permeating the left side of my head since the turn of the year.
It upsets me. It upsets me that it is no longer about how much I wish to accomplish, but I am limited by the fragility of my body. I can probably stretch my mental or physical energy with diet and exercise, but I am not sure if I can do much about my eyes, apart from resting them. I am forced to read a lot less, even for pleasure. I set out the year wanting to both write and read much more than the last, but within a month I had to re-evaluate everything.
I am exhausted, and I am finding it more difficult to recover to a full charge. I am experiencing signs of burn out, and I am terrified. They say you don’t experience burn out if you love your work, I think I am experiencing burn out because I love my work too much. I just can’t stop thinking about all the things we should be doing or can be doing.
I feel like I am forced to take a step back because I know what happens if I continue down this path. I have experienced severe burn out before and it is not pretty. It upsets me that I seem to have a weaker constitution than average, or it could simply be that I am simply more prone to over-stimulation than the average. There is always a tradeoff, a price to pay.
This time I am learning that loving something sometimes means having the capacity to remove myself from it, take a few steps back and take a good hard look at the bigger picture.
Perhaps for someone like me, giving myself intensely in an all-consuming manner is the easy part, learning to pace myself so that I can sustain the longer journey, is a much harder lesson to learn.