“When your son gets older, he will no longer need you. You will then feel more available to work like you used to.” I was told this once by an athletic director when speaking to him about the desire to have more balance in my work life so that I could spend time with my family.
It is possible that his belief could come to pass. However, what he is missing from the equation is the need to be available to my son, to spend time with him, that desire is mine. Plus it is not just my son that I like to make time for. It is date nights with my husband, dinner as a family, being able to visit friends and other family. To feel like I can go on a trip, go to church activities, to watch a sporting event that I am not working.
Back when I was working full time as an athletic trainer, I used to be part of my own burnout. Making myself overly available, needing to prove myself, being the go to person for too many things, taking on more tasks than are necessary, and trying too hard to fit in. That last one is something I am still working through.
I spent a good part my last 7 years working on strategies to help me to take on less. However it seemed no matter how hard I worked at making more space for myself, the more of my time was asked of me. It was a game of Jenga that I was failing miserably at! This is when I realized that sometimes it really is just the nature of the job that was burning me out.
Now do not get my wrong, I loved being an athletic trainer for so many reasons. Those reasons began to fade. The joy and pride I took in what I did was becoming less and less present. The sadness I began to feel when I had to give up more things in my personal life began to take over. It moved into resentment and frustration. It would even become present when I was with my family. Those were not the kind of family memories I wanted to create.
Now, I am in a much better place. While I still use many of the skills I have learned in the past about the role I played in my burnout, I have also learned what I am looking for when I apply for jobs. What that is does not look the same for all of us. In fact, what leads each and everyone of us who experience burnout, does not look the same.
There is a digital framework system that I use regularly to help me keep what is most important to me top of mind. It is a framework that helped figure out just what was keeping me from the joy I was missing out on in my life. If you feel like this is something that you are interested in exploring, here is access to a 7 day free trial.
No matter what you decide, if you are feeling burnt out in any part of your life, I highly encourage you to dive deeper into what that is all about. Whether that is in a book, through some counseling, or some on-line surfing.
If you are like me and it is work related, ask yourself, is it really worth going to a job you resent day in and day out, sitting in traffic to go home and just bring that frustration with you? The change you have in front of you may not be easy, but it will be worth it to live a life more by your design.