Have any of you had a meltdown lately? Like, a full-blown, crying, shaking, hysterical meltdown for absolutely no reason at all? I have. I got home one Friday afternoon, went straight to my bed, buried my head in my pillow and proceeded to break down. When my partner came in asking what was wrong, I actually didn’t know. When I told him this, he laughed “how do you not know why you’re crying?” (obviously impossible for a male to understand). I just felt so completely overwhelmed and devoid of all energy that all I could fathom doing for the foreseeable future was crying.
The truth is, I was exhausted. Just plain exhausted. 16 weeks of uni, 2 jobs, a committee and sporting commitments later, I had absolutely nothing left in the tank. Expecting sympathy, I whimpered about my plight to my partner, only to be told, “you do this to yourself”. Do I? I guess I do.
I wonder how many other uni students, or professionals are out there feeling the same thing from time to time? The thing is, people are always saying that you need to find the balance between working hard and having fun, but I CANNOT imagine happily giving up any of my commitments for ‘relaxation’ time. I suppose that’s the downfall of an overachiever. And let’s be honest, who even knows what ‘relaxing’ is anymore?
Here’s an interesting fact: In the ten years from 1986 to 1996 work-life balance was mentioned in the media 32 times. In 2007 alone it was mentioned 1674 times.
They say that the happiest people are those who don’t have a care in the world. But please, as if they’re not bored. I know I would be. If I’m not challenging myself in some way, my day just seems pointless.
The most frustrating times in my life have been those when I have had nothing to do, no commitments, and nowhere to be. I remember having a similar meltdown after I graduated year 12, petrified of ‘treading water’ (as I call it) for six months before enlisting in the Navy. I. Hate. Doing. Nothing. And more than that, I hate not being in control.
Most of the time I am highly organised. I keep a religious diary – three, in fact (if you don’t count the calendar hanging on my office wall). I have a schedule on my tablet, in my phone, and a hard copy in my bag. But I do have a tendency to allow the lines between my commitments blur. Like right now, for example, I’m writing this blog while I’m sitting at my intern desk. What this means is if at any time I am unsure of what I need to do, I have the answer within reach.
However, I don’t see anywhere in my diary to do things I enjoy to wind down. There’s isn’t any time for sitting in front of the sewing machine, or creating some artwork for our house. But when I have 25 hours worth of things to fit into 24 hour cycles, there really isn’t room. Especially when all I want to do at the end of the day is curl up with my partner on the couch, shut my eyes, and let him tell me all about his day.
Look, I know the solution to my problem is pretty common sense. Prioritise. Blah. Blah. Blah. And I think I do that pretty well. But whilst I am very good at compartmentalising my life physically, I’m not very good at doing it emotionally. And that is something I’m going to have to learn…
…When I have the time. Which I don’t.