Daily Post 158: Saturday Burnout


Writing from Saturday morning:

Work wasn’t awful yesterday. My FA was there for a bit in the morning but then had to leave to attend meetings in Lincoln. That left me with Float RN and New RN. We got everyone through their treatments and the clinic closed down on time. Go us!

I was dead by the time I got home. Sadly, the kids are here this weekend, so going to bed early wasn’t an option. I did crawl into bed with the lights off, but the TV in the living room was on and I could hear it. The kids kept running in and out of the rooms and chatting and being kids. It’s one of the pieces of friction with the home situation. I’m not able to have the solitude and quietness away from people when I need it, and yesterday and this morning were definitely times where I needed it.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I think I’m starting to fight off a cold again. I was congested for most of the night. I woke up several times even with using the Vix Vapor thingy we have in the room.

When I finally gave up on sleeping this morning, everyone was already up. The thought of having to cook breakfast and dealing with people being under my feet while I tried to do stuff or answering questions and just in general interacting with anything living that wasn’t a cat sucked. It all felt heavy. And that’s how my whole day was going to be; constantly surrounded by demands on energy I didn’t have to give.

The pervasive thought this morning is that it’s almost the three-year mark. Three years since mom died. Soon I will have to find another rose to add to her vase; a sign that I have once again survived to reach another year. A sign that I made it through all of the hard days, all of the good days, each and every day that ticked us closer and closer to “this” day.

It sucks. And knowing that I couldn’t have the one thing I wanted, to be left alone, made it worse.

I did end up making waffles for everyone. I used whole eggs this time instead of egg whites. I didn’t eat with the family, but I was told the waffles were good. I stepped outside with Ox for a cigarette after he had eaten. When I came back inside I curled up in bed under the covers with one of the cats. Mama Ox came to the doorway. Since the lights were off she couldn’t see me.

Mama Ox: Where did she go? It’s like she’s hiding. I thought she came in here but I can’t see her.

Right Brain: Um… yeah. I’m hiding. That’s sort of the point of hiding. To not be found or bothered.

Ox and I had some alone time. He let me cry. I had told him about a dream I had last night which might have added to the frustration I woke up with. I had been in the kitchen trying to do something, but there was trash everywhere that no one had thrown away. There was clutter and friction and all of this “stuff” that I had to work around or take care of before I could begin to do what needed to be done. It felt like I was the only one who cared and that made it all feel pointless. I can’t care for everyone. I can’t be the only one doing things all the time. That’s how people burn out and that’s what I woke up with; a burnt out feeling.

I’m glad to say that things are getting better. I’ve worked through all of the emails in my inbox that I didn’t get to on Tuesday. I’ve replied to posts and even an email from one of my uncles. I have a new niece. I doubt I’ll ever be very close to her, but I’m happy for my cousin. I hope she’s enjoying being a parent. I hope her daughter grows up to have a close relationship with her.

I proofread and posted my last writing. I’ve written this one, not that there’s really much to say. I feel tired. I feel emotionally drained. I still feel slightly confined though not as much as I was when I first woke up. I’m hoping to get through this weekend of rainy ickiness where the kids complain that they’re bored and how there’s nothing to do. I’m hoping one day I will have my dragon’s den and it won’t matter if the kids are here; I’ll still be able to sleep after an exhausting day of work. I’ll still be able to have my silence and solitude without interfering with everyone else’s life.

Today isn’t that day, though. Tomorrow isn’t going to be that day either. Right now I just need to breathe through the tension and realize this is a moment in time. Nothing is bad. Nothing is wrong. Everyone here loves me, it’s just not structured to the needs of an extremely introverted INFJ.

For today, I will be grateful.

I am grateful I had my mom in my life as long as I did. I’m grateful I still have her in my life in the ways that I do. I’m grateful that Ox loves me and tries as hard as he does to make me feel safe and cared for. I’m grateful for my life, even if it’s different than what I thought it was supposed to be.

Hopefully, I can remember those things when the tension starts to swell up again. I AM grateful. Even when things are hard and sad and I’m not alone like I want to be, I am grateful.

Written Sunday morning:

Today is off to a better start than yesterday. Granted, it’s only 6:30 in the morning, but already I have been equally as productive as I was for all of yesterday combined.

I woke up yesterday feeling out of it, and maybe that’s not the right way to describe it. I felt alright, just not up to the task of doing anything or socializing with anyone. It was one of those days where if I still lived in Orlando I would have slept all day and stayed in my room cuddling with Scarlet. Maybe if I had been feeling frisky I would have eaten something.

That’s not possible in the enviornment I live in now, though, and it most certainly isn’t possible while the kids are here.

I helped with breakfast yesterday, but I didn’t eat anything with the family. The bit of time I was in the kitchen with Mama Ox going back and forth and inserting her two cents on topics that didn’t matter and were mostly small talk that I had to fain instrest in had me frayed and feeling overwhelemed. It didn’t help that when I tried to go to the room to get away from it all, she followed me and commented about how I was hiding.

Yes. I’m hiding. Please respect that and leave me alone. >.<;

I wrote yesterday and continued with my posting for my leadership class. I have a handful of reflection sections left to post from the first book. I did buy the second book yesterday even though we won’t be working on it for the class until April. I figured since I’m going to be starting my Human Anatomy class soon that it would be better to try to get as ahead as possible. The next book is Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. I don’t know much about it, but the audio book is over 13 hours. I may start it up today depending on how things go.

I did start a load of laundry yesterday, but that’s all I did with it. I just switched it over before putting my roast in the oven, so both of those things are going. I’m trying something different with my roast. I used a Grill Mates marinade with it this time since I like how it turns out with chicken so much. We’ll see if it’s a success in about an hour.

Ox and I did go to the store here in town yesterday afternoon. We needed milk and eggs. Mama Ox wanted a new container of cashews. I wanted shredded cheddar cheese for the leftover chili that no one is eating. I got a small bag of the Reese’s snack popcorn that I like.

Other than that, I took a three hour nap yesterday and did a bunch of nothing. I haven’t cooked dinner all week, which I guess isn’t as awful as it sounds. There were leftovers for some of the days, and the others Mama Ox cooked burgers or other simple, quick things that the family liked.

This wasn’t really the best week for me to do much, what with working late and having to travel. Maybe that was part of yesterday; burnout from a rougher week than I had thought it was.

I told Ox last night that I feel like I don’t handle things as well as I used to. I don’t know if that’s me getting older or still being broken from the ordeal that was mom’s death. I don’t remember crying as much during high school, though. I don’t remember feeling as overwhelmed and bombarded by small, simple social interactions. I also didn’t have to deal with them very much for the seven-ish years I lived in Florida. I was able to have my own room and to avoid the world when I wanted to. I still don’t have that option here and so maybe I’m the same it’s just the situations are different. Different stressors, different coping behaviors… I wish I knew.

Ox, for his part, was himself. Ridiculously understanding, supportive, and reassuring. He let me sleep during the day. He dealt with my grouchiness. He held me, encouraging me to take deep breaths when the tension started to build in my chest. He said two months. He doesn’t want me to sleep in the addition with it being so cold. He didn’t want me to sleep in my car either for the same reason when I brought that option up last night. I didn’t want to be away from home, so the thought of a hotel room didn’t sit very well with me.

I just want a quiet space here. A safe space. A “my” space where I belong and I have my things with me instead of them being packed away still in a storage unit I haven’t seen in roughly seven months. I keep thinking in the back of my mind that I’m going to unwrap my china and all of the pieces are going to be broken because of how cold it has been. It’s a shitty thought that doesn’t help anything when my brain is already being a terrorist.

I don’t really know where to go from here as far as my writing goes. Ox said two months. I have my trip next week to see my brother and dad and Mother Earth and Sir. I don’t have a lot of time while I’m there. Maybe I should have tried to plan this better. I don’t think I’ll have time to visit my home clinic. I don’t know if I want to see Warren while I’m there. It will most likely be like pulling teeth and I doubt any headway will be made in regards to the money he owes me. I would like to see my therapist before she retires. I would like to go to the dojo, but I don’t know if I should or not. I haven’t been going to the one here, and though I’ve been better about the gym this past week, I still feel like I’m behind in regards to the workout section of my life.

It was rainy and misirable all day yesterday and it’s suppposed to stay that way for a while. The tempratures are supposed to rise, though. Hopefully spring is arriving and all of this snow will melt and it will be sunny once again. I hope so. I really, really hope that I’m almost at the end of whatever this is and that I do good in school and my yearly review goes well and I eventually get my safe, quiet place and all of this tension and stress and apathy melt away with the snow.


Musing Moments 131: LFTIO – Core Talents

DSS Leadership – Assignment 8
Book – “Leadership from the Inside Out”

Think back over your career and your life. Recall those times when you felt most energized giving your gifts to others. You might have been engaged in something more personal or seemingly inconsequential, such as coaching a golf partner or walking with a friend. Or you might have been involved in something bigger, more visible or dramatic, such as envisioning a new product or an innovating strategy. Think about those times when you were at your best, when you and others were most energized and engaged. Capture some of those experiences by writing them down. Ask yourself and respond to the following questions and statements:

What gifts can people count on me for?

I feel people can count on me to listen. I feel they can count on me to help them solve problems through different, unexpected, or unique ways. I feel they can count on me to be gentle with their emotions while still telling them hard truths. They can count on me for a clear perspective. They can count on me to be honest. They can count on me to be “on their side” even if my answer is that they weren’t right in a given situation. It’s not about placing blame, it’s about encouraging ownership for behaviors and choices and to admit and accept the fact that we are all human and make mistakes. It’s ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. It provides an opportunity for growth and personal development only if we open ourselves up by accepting our flaws and striving to be better than we were.

I can be counted on to be loyal and committed and to see something through to the end. I can be counted on to learn and to bring that knowledge back to my inner circle, enriching lives through sharing my experiences.

I can be counted on to go as deep as the other person is. No corner of life is too dark, too dusty, too scary. If you are willing to share I am willing to reciprocate. If you share your deepest fear with me, I will share mine. I will show you, that I, too, am human and that together we’ll figure it out. I can be counted on to stand beside you and to not leave you alone in your hour of need.

When I am making a difference/creating value, my talents that “show up” are:

Communication and empathy. Creativity. Strategic thinking. Organization. Time-management. Efficiency. Patients. Kindness. Compassion. Humor and light-heartedness. Energy and positive thinking.

Other people consistently tell me I make a difference by:

Being proactive. Taking initiative. Going above and beyond. Being understanding and patient. Being empathetic. Thinking outside the box. I don’t know why this section makes me want to cry. Maybe it’s because it makes me think of mom and how she said she was proud of me.

When I am working with others, and we are most energized and engaged, I am contributing:

Myself. My full self. My energy and drive and passion. My resolve and dedication. My will to make something succeed no matter what obstacles we face. Each set back, each “no” the Universe throws at us, is just another “next opportunity”. It’s a way to make something better. We don’t cherish the things that come easy. We value the things that were hard, that were a struggle to achieve, that we had to fight to get. It makes the success that much sweeter because it was earned, not given.

I contribute my motivation and positivity by looking at a stressful situation as a moment in time that will be overcome. I provide a perspective of not only seeing where we are and where we want to go, but also of how far we’ve come and already accomplished. We’re doing good and yes things are hard right now but we’ll figure it out. We’ll be ok, and it’s not a bad thing to take a step back sometimes to decompress and regroup. It’s ok to take time for self-care. It’s ok to acknowledge effort and contribution. I look after the people around me and make sure they feel cared for and valued and when they begin to self-doubt or burnout I figure out what is affecting them and how to alleviate or mitigate that factor.

I am passionate about contributing:

Knowledge, passion, and insight. Creativity and uniqueness. Life and color and warmth. Meaningfulness and a reason for existence even through the dark and hard times where it feels like it would be easier to give up.

In summary, my Core Talents, the gifts that make a difference, are:

I don’t know how to answer this. I don’t know what is core… I’ve written several things. The meaningfulness part I feel in the center of my heart chakra. It’s why I changed my career to the medical field; to help people who may feel lost and alone and to show them that they aren’t. I’m there with them and we’ll get through the darkness one day at a time. That even in the dark there are lights if you are open to looking for them. They may be dim but they’re there, I promise.

In a way, I suppose empathy is core as well. Identifying with and feeling alongside others. I can only help them during those dark moments because I feel those moments with them. I share my own moments so they understand that I do know what it’s like to feel hopeless, directionless, and as if it’s all just a losing battle that doesn’t matter anyway so why fight it? Why get out of bed? Why keep going day after day after day when there’s no good left in the world and everything sucks?

I know those feelings. I have been there and the only reason I got through them was because others were there for me. Because I went through those battles, those questions, I want to be there for others on their journey. I want to give that back to the Universe because I was fortunate enough to receive the gift of that type of support.

And maybe determination. Winners never quit and quitters never win. That’s my mentality. It’s ok to fail. It’s ok to mess up. It’s ok to ask for help and for something to be hard or overwhelming. It’s ok to be scared and to not have the answers or a direction to go in. It’s ok to get stuck in a rut and to spin your wheels for a time.

It’s not ok to give up. That’s something I think mom taught me. You NEVER give up. You never sit and accept defeat because if you do then nothing will ever change. If you are willing to fight then I will fight with you. If you sit down I will tell you that I am seeing, what I am feeling, and I will ask if that’s what you want your story to be. Is this how you want your book to end or do you want to get up and try again? Not every day is going to be perfect. Your best is going to change. Do you want to stay down in the mud and dirt where you fell or sat down? Is this where you’re truly ok with being?

If it is I accept your choice and I will leave you alone. I will no longer fight for a cause you no longer feel. But, if you do, in fact, feel that candle flame of fire in you to live, to survive, then I am here. I will always be here, and I will do what I can. Resources, information, emotional support, a second pair of hands on a project. We’ll get this done, together.

So maybe collaboration and support? I’m not sure if collaboration is right. Maybe teamwork? I still don’t feel as clear on this section as I think I’m supposed to. I had thought it would be rather definitive and I feel like it’s still hazy and slightly intangible. Maybe time and the additional reflection sections will provide clarity.

After completing the Core Value reflection section and being filled with a sense of energized conviction, I knew I had missed something with the Core Talent section. I didn’t feel anything towards this section and I felt I should have. If I was really listing my core talents, shouldn’t I have felt them resonating with something inside myself? Shouldn’t they have spoken to me? Time-management, communication, collaborating… None of that “felt” right.

That led to a Google search for the definition of talent. That led to finding a post titled Talents versus Skills – Do you know the difference, by Marc Miller. From this post, I realized what my issue was. I was listing skills, not my inherent natural talents. I was listing things I had learned through the course of my life; not the things which I naturally brought to the table.

So… This is my revised Core Talents. I make a difference by actively listening to people and being a person they can truly talk to; their problems, their fears, their insecurities… I reflect on the information they confide in me and help provide a clearer perspective of their situations. From this perspective, I can help people find a stronger sense of self-awareness and purpose by guiding them towards personal growth and development.

My core talents are:

Active Listening
Fostering Self-Awareness and Personal Development