Sunday, December 16, 2012

Burn Out

I’m bad at putting my laundry away. I don’t have a washer or dryer at home so I have to venture out with a giant basket of clothes and by the time I get it all home I throw it on the ground and forget about it. Then when I’m desperately looking for one specific shirt, or a matching sock I start sifting through the basket and the clothes spill onto the floor. Then they start forming piles of slightly worn, dirty, and did this even get washed?

I’ve been running around kind of crazily lately so the laundry was starting to creep out of my room and taking over other rooms. And then the dishes were piling up and the cat box desperately needed cleaned so I just started leaving the house because I couldn’t stand looking at the mess that I kept telling myself that I had no time to clean up…

I was overwhelmed.

Thursday I came home and finally cleared off the kitchen table. Which meant I had to put some dishes in the sink so I had to finally wash them. The odor of litter was distracting so I finally cleaned it and swept the bathroom and picked up some dirty clothes to put in the hamper which finally motivated me to put my clean (?) clothes away… I calmly and coolly put everything in its place and swept and washed and vacuumed and felt much better about life. I looked around and realized that washing a dish after I use it and putting that shirt away that I didn’t end up wearing would keep the place much cleaner for longer rather than just throwing stuff around.

The calm feeling that washed over me while methodically cleaning my house and the renewed feeling afterwards kind of made me feel better about... roller derby.
Photo by Ken Mitchell
This year, my fourth year of playing roller derby, I got burnt out. I was on the board, I was a coach, PR head, WFTDA rep, and of course, skater. None of those positions I felt got carried out to their full potential because I try to do everything I can at the same time and soon little things start piling up because something will ultimately get ignored. Those little things start adding up to bigger things and then I give up until they become crucial and then half-ass it in a fit of frustration.

I’m bad at delegating. Or letting go of control. I almost wanted to quit multiple times over stupid things. I barely blogged all year because my relationship with derby was on the verge of breaking and I felt dumb and embarrassed and less invested as time went on. This is just a neurotic thing, but there were times I felt I couldn’t even wear the Deadwards face necklace Bang made me because I felt so disconnected from the enthusiasm and love I had for derby two years ago.

And it’s not just my derby life, but real life too. Living in a college town I watch students around me picking their majors, graduating, and finding careers while two years out of college I still have no clue what I’m doing and make myself feel bad about it. Debts, bills, and an uncertain future are heavy and I let them weigh me down. Soon it’s just like my laundry and I look around exasperated, and then give up.

If you haven’t noticed yet, all these stresses and problems are all things I’m doing to myself. I do admit I have a bit of an abusive relationship with myself, but it’s always for the best, I swear! The upside to that is that I also have the ability to fix my problems. I read a lot of books about mental training this year and the biggest thing I picked up is that we DO have the ability to change and most of our downfalls are mental. I need to spend less time on “look at this problem! It’s such a problem! Look at this thing inconveniencing me!” and more on how to solve my problem. Being more proactive about potential problems is the key to maintaining sanity.

I also need to focus more on the good things in life. My blog, much like my journal, starts to become a place to just bitch about problems and then I fear the record of my life will just be a string of complaints and bad feelings so then I just stop writing all together. I need to make an effort to write down and celebrate the happy times too.
I have fun sometimes, I swear
SO. Going into the New Year, I think I will actually make some resolutions despite how cheesy and cliché that is.

  1. BE PROACTIVE. If I stay on top of responsibilities they won’t become problems.
  2. NO EXCUSES. (aka STOP BITCHING) I started a series of No Excuses articles and I need to first, finish them, and second follow them.
  3. DELEGATE. Spread the responsibilities and don’t feel like I need to do everything. Focus on myself from time to time.
  4. CALM THE FUCK DOWN. I get too high anxiety, high strung, crazy about life sometimes. Everything will be ok. The world isn’t ending… Wait, oh crap…
  5. STAY POSITIVE AND MAKE IT CONTAGIOUS. Stop mentally beating myself up about things and keep my morale up. Attitudes are contagious, so hopefully I can keep other people (i.e. my team) happy and positive and not let them get burnt out either. 
Cleaning my apartment made me realize that I shouldn't lose hope about other things in my life. If I drop the excuses, delegate and be proactive about some of my responsibilities, and just stay positive and just CALM THE FUCK DOWN from time to time I can make it all work.