The balancing act

My energy level is currently running on fumes. Even as I compose this entry I am bundled in a blanket and yawning uncontrollably, I just have nothing to give. I want to update on things and give an explanation for my silence, a silence that may continue for a while. I have no words for how happy I am at work, partially because things are that good and partially because I haven’t the energy to express my contentment completely. What I can say though is that right now I am in the middle of a delicate balancing act. I have a lot of important items that are constantly weighing on my mind, it is that monkey on your back feeling 24/7 for me right now. And although none of these item cause me negative stress there is still a lot going on and it leaves me feeling truly depleted on a daily basis. It is a happy fulfilled kind of tired but it is tired none the less.

I am in the process of getting my records over to UCF, my application is already submitted. I am also in the process of applying for graduation and rounding up all my records for that. Class is going well but with every chapter the subject matter gets trickier requiring more study time on my part. I am in the next stage of wedding planning which involves making final decisions on certain vendors, setting up meetings etc. Then there is work, where the majority of my energy is spent.

When I was in classes full-time and my primary commitment was school I didn’t necessarily have more downtime because the work load certainly kept me busy but it was a quiet busy. I was home alone doing research and homework and studying. I was always working but it was quiet and calm and there was not a lot of outside stimulation to distract me. This is the perfect environment for me to be productive and creative. My true personality thrives under these conditions. At the end of the day my energy levels are up, my battery is fully charged and I feel creative and insightful and alive.

The office I work at is busy with a lot of stimuli, 10 phone lines ringing (sometimes all at once), three televisions blaring republican news shows in the background, a front desk full of office chatter and covered in papers and clutter. With all of this working against a person like me I still hold myself and my work to a certain standard because I believe it is what my patients deserve. This means I have to push against all of this background noise and focus my concentration and every ounce of energy on whatever it is I am doing. It is why I am such a “J” at work, there is no room for my lackadaisical tendencies at work. My work has to be precise and in order to get the level of precision I strive for I have to control my concentration and have an attention to detail that I could never manage in other circumstances. I have to push completely against what feels natural to me to get the end result I am happy with, and I do. What this means though is that at the end of the day I have nothing left. I am completely spent. Some nights I come home and fall asleep in Todd’s arms on the couch right after dinner. I was out at 7:30 tonight and the only reason I woke up again is because his phone went off and it startled me. Most nights I am in bet and zonked out by 9:00. I need that quiet time to recharge for the next day.

The upside to the current situation is that I have been sleeping like a baby, a rarity for me. There is a downside as well though. This perpetual state of exhaustion I deal with during the work week leaves little room for reflection and me time. Art, writing, reading, day dreaming has all taken a back seat at the moment. These might seem like frivolous activities to some but for me they are what makes me feel most like myself. I am literally too tired to think or be creative right now so writing is a virtual impossibility unless I plan on filling these pages with empty words. For the record, I do not. Reading has been restricted to my text alone when I am studying. And my artistic outlet can be found in the pages of my coloring books. I have collected coloring books since I was in high school. In the past they have been one of my coping mechanisms when dealing with anxiety, it is a quiet activity that I can focus on and allows for level of creativity without a lot of thought. In short, it takes my mind off of whatever it is I was fixating on. Now it just a quiet activity for me after work to unwind. Some people drink a beer after a long day, I color.

So there you have it. I am afraid that for the time being I have to sacrifice a little to be able to give myself to other things. I look forward to having some down time again next year before I start my program. I am sure I will have lots to say and share when I have more time to process my thoughts. I thankful everyday for this chance I have been given to work with my patients again. I feel successful (by my standards) and satisfied every single day when I go home and I look forward to the day ahead of me every morning when I wake up. As tired as I may be right now there is a level of serenity in my weariness and it fills me with gratitude.

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