I edged ever so close to the precipice of burnout. Or maybe I did slide off the edge and the many prayers caught me…I am just thankful for friends that gathered close and held on tight.
It's hard to quantify what I've been struggling with lately. Trying to find the balance for our family. It's been pretty difficult, and physical rest has been elusive. It's the reality of newborn-hood, as we all know, but when there are other kids in the mix, and homeschooling, and, and, and…we've been doing a lot of subtracting around here.
But this is the thing…
Part of the reason I end up in this feet over head, wind-knocked-out position is I am so rarely patient with myself.
Instead of accepting the fact that this is an intense season (that will be over all too quickly) and acting accordingly, I try to act as if everything is normal. Which it's not.
I realized this, oddly enough, while poking around on a homeschooling web site. They had a tab which said something to the affect of "emergency homeschooling". The description read something along the lines of "use these recommendations when the situation is unusual- a medical illness, a new baby, transferring a child from public school to homeschooling…"
Now some of you are probably thinking, "DUH!"
Did I mention I have a thick head?
And, hello? What got me into this totally spazzed out, look-at-me-funny-and-I'm-gonna-cry, overwhelmed place was clearly not working. There has been some subtraction going on, removing obligations and other things in an attempt to make the equation balance, but we were already pretty bare bones as it is.
Can I just say? If you find yourself in this position, please be vulnerable and honest enough to seek out some council. I've hit burnout probably about three times now in the last year and a half. Not good odds. (And in my defense, this has been an incredibly rough 18 months!) But this time was the first time I went "timmmmmmmme ooooooooooouttttt!" for one, and it is also the first time I have been brutally honest with some close friends about where I am at. I've also spent extended time in prayer. (Again, DUH, but, well…I haven't been so good about this over the years.)
I've resisted seeking council before. It's difficult- to open yourself up, to admit that things aren't going as well as you've hoped. It's a pretty vulnerable place to be. And still, I wouldn't open myself up like that to just anybody. But the reason council is important is because they are outside the situation. Sometimes you get just too far in to be able to see straight. You're looking at the intricate detail of a bark pattern on one tree in the clearing, and close friends are seeing the whole forest. It amazed me how quickly my vision cleared as my friends began to set things 'to rights'. They could put things in proper perspective, give things the right weight and measure. To whit, part of the burden lifted just by being able to sort of talk it all out, lay out the pieces of the puzzle.
I don't know where we are headed quite yet. I'm not quite sure what our "emergency procedures" need to be until we can achieve some balance. But I am so thankful that I am not alone in this journey!
If you're struggling with some of this, I can't reccommend this post by Jennifer Fulwiler (Conversion Diary) enough: The Ultimate Burnout Survival Guide.