February 12, 2018

Getting Tired and Learning to Rest

learn to rest, not to quit
I don't believe in omens, signs, or fate. I do not think that the universe tries to send me messages every now and then that are perfectly timed so I receive them when I most need them. Sure, I can acknowledge that it sometimes seems like that is what is happening, but I recognize that this is nothing more than my human tendency to see patterns and misinterpret ambiguous events as having personal significance.

When I came across this image, it stood out to me because I had been giving some thought to how much longer I want to keep Atheist Revolution going. It isn't that I've been thinking seriously of quitting; it is more that I have been thinking about what it might look like to quit and how I might know when it was time to do so. In that context, this image took on more meaning than it might have otherwise. It almost seemed like I was meant to find it!

The image put two thoughts in my head. First, I have been feeling increasingly tired of the routine I've developed, and I really do need to learn to rest. I am lousy when it comes to taking planned breaks, and I know that this contributes to feelings of burnout. I've known this for a long time, but I have made little progress in translating it into the sort of action I can sustain. As a result, I go through the same cycle of burnout, frustration, and apathy over and over again. So yes, I do need to acknowledge when I'm tired and learn how to rest more effectively.

The second thought provoked by the image was that I need to remember that there is a large middle ground between "business as usual" and quitting. If I'm thinking about quitting, it might mean I should take more breaks. But even if a break doesn't help much or for all that long, I still have many options short of quitting. I could post much less often. I could write only when I feel inspired to do so (which is some excellent advice I received recently). I could cut back or even eliminate my social media activity (something that sounds more appealing by the day, as I believe I've had my fill of the constant Trump-related outrage). The point is that I have other options, all of which I find more appealing than quitting.

This blogging thing does not need to be as difficult as I seem determined to make it. There is little point in dwelling on the things I do not like about how I have been spending my time unless I am prepared to use that information to make changes. I'm far more interested in learning how to rest, how to be more efficient, and how to rediscover the things I like about writing than I am in quitting.

H/T to jobsanger