Okay, perhaps that’s a bit dramatic. But the fact that I’m calling myself dramatic for confessing my burnout is a symptom of just how sneaky it is.
These past few months have been good. So good. I’ve celebrated birthdays of friends’ kids and art, made stories and memories and in-jokes, spent weekends in four different hotels, become quite the proficient packer, and put a lot of live music in my ears and miles on my car. Somewhere over the summer, in the recognition of the brief, momentous preciousness of life, “do things that scare you” and “never turn down an adventure” have become new guiding principles for me.
Life is full. I am so blessed.
But of course, there’s balance to find too when caught in the “embarrassment of riches,” I suppose because I can only bear so much. Because lately, all I’ve wanted to do is find a dark corner and shut myself away and sleep. Rest.
Rest is hard for me. It’s hard because I want to be doing, accomplishing, making, participating… all kinds of -ings. I know I need it to function correctly, but at the same time, I hate missing things or letting people down. And then I hear Madeleine L’Engle in my head:
“When I am constantly running, there is no time for being. When there is no time for being there is no time for listening.” (Walking on Water)
A week or so ago, on a Friday at the end of a crazy week, I crashed in my burnout and slept for maybe 10 hours. Then Saturday was about little quiet things. Got an oil change. Ran errands. Played records. Read. Even waited under the stars for a meteor shower after midnight. No meteors could be seen with the glare of street lights and headlights blurring the horizon, but for the first time in far too long, I noticed how clear the sky could be, how bright the stars dancing between the branches and tendrils of Spanish moss.
How small you are, the voice of God seemed to say in a twinkle of sunlight off Venus’ atmosphere. Sit and rest a while. There’s a whole eternity ahead of you.
Lately, I’ve also experienced a self-diagnosed creative funk. These unproductive times are scary in a culture wired to produce, as if art is manufactured at a precise assembly line rate lest the profits fall or something. Even now, I’m looking at the archive sidebar on this blog fretting at the sheer lack of posts as 2012 draws to a close.
Then I remember the pursuit of stillness, words always swimming below the surface, waiting. I remember how foolish it is to measure myself as if I can add another inch to my height.
Rest. Wait. How small you are.
There’s a whole eternity ahead of you.