What do you do when you’re totally burned out?
Eat chocolate? Get a massage? Nap?
(Personally, all three sound pretty good to me.)
This post is not actually about how to beat mama burnout, or how to be a better mom, or 10 steps to a stress-free life.
(That last one is silly. There’s no such thing.)
Rather, it’s a post about what life is REALLY, really about.
And how, when you know what it’s really about, your life will become immeasurably better for it. (I know, we’re going totally deep today.)
I hate waxing philosophical so I’ll just get to the point.
Life is about doing hard things & getting better at said hard things.
It’s about staring difficult stuff in the face & marching head on, with confidence that you have it in you to conquer that beast.
It’s about experiencing joy when you’ve done the hard stuff, knowing that you are infinitely more wise, intelligent, kind, strong, & compassionate than you (or others) give yourself credit.
That’s life in a nutshell.*
Aren’t you glad you decided to read this post? Now you know the purpose of life.
*Of course, I know there’s a bit more to life than this. But for the sake of discussion, lest we lose the point of this post, let’s keep it simple & humor me here.
I just finished Unbroken, the true story of the American Olympian & World War II POW, Louis Zamperini.
I couldn’t put it down & read it in just a few days. I marveled (along with everyone else, I’m sure) at the resilience, the ability for the human spirit (& body!) to withstand all manner of tribulation.
It brought things into perspective.
I haven’t seen Joseph (my USAF JAG attorney husband) in about a week (does sleeping next to him for 6 hours each night count?). He’s been putting in 16-18 hour days prepping & now executing a huge trial (let’s just say the man they’re prosecuting is accused of bad, bad things–the worse the crime, the bigger the trial, the more work for all involved). So I’ve been running things on the home front, solo. It’s not easy.
There are moments I think–is this all there is to life–work, work, & more work? So much work.
Being a military wife requires a lot of sidelines support, without the support of extended family (unless you’re lucky enough to actually live by any family, which, we aren’t).
You have to go off for weeks at a time for training? No problem babe, I’ve got you covered.
You gotta put in 18 hour days for awhile? Okay.
You’ve gotta go to some foreign country thousands of miles away for an 8 month deployment? (Which, btw, has not happened yet.) Sure, sure, I’m a strong woman, I’ve got this.
Being a military wife is decidedly, not for sissies.
Couple military wifehood with full-time motherhood, laser-like focus on getting out debt (& the ultra-frugality that comes with it), our recent move & downsizing, & boy oh boy, the days can seem full of mundane, thankless, & dag nabbit, not-so-fun tasks. I find myself getting resentful.
But then I think of good ol’ Louis, or any number of amazing folks I’ve known over the years who have or are experiencing major life upheavals & trials with grace, & I think, this is nothing. There’s so much to whine about if you’re looking for it, & it’s all too easy to dismiss the good stuff, the stuff to relish, when you’re focusing on how hard it all is.
Like how cute & amazing one year olds are!
(Tyndale turned one last week.)
He is absolutely one the main lights of my life–like having your best friend, a puppy, & a calorie-free dessert all rolled into one.
So that’s all.
Life is hard. But that’s a good thing.
It’s through doing the hard stuff, that we appreciate & get to the really good stuff.
Like babies, & love.
(And ice cream.)
What do you do when you’re feeling burned out? Please share!
(As for me, I’ve been experiencing a wee bit of burn out myself, I got a babysitter for tonight & am going to spend a few kid-free hours doing whatever I like, which will probably involve a library, a good run, followed by some vegan ice cream.)
Other bring joy posts you might want to read: