Tonight I went to the loveliest dinner party for a dear friend of mine. It was pitch perfect, with new friends, lots of random connections, and side splitting laughter. I even dressed appropriately. After 7 years of living in this area, I rocked a dashing mix of New England and New York in lime green pants, a one-shouldered tank top, and low, 1950s style heels to bring it together. We finally said our goodbyes, with promises to meet up again soon.
I nearly missed out because I was too tired to go.
For the past two months, I’ve been working early mornings and late nights. I always made time for the Lord, family and friends, but I never made much time for myself. “Me time” and “work time” were synonymous. If I wasn’t cleaning, I was writing. If I wasn’t writing, I was planning.
I didn’t know I was experiencing burnout until my headaches were more intense, my overall health was compromised, my sleep pattern was off, and I no longer felt like eating or spending time with very many people.
The Lord is awesome though; He found ways to revive me and remind me that I need to take better care of myself. Last night, I watched Hannah Arendt with Y., and we had a good chat about how intelligent women are rarely celebrated. And today, after an encouraging meeting with my adviser, I hung out with Y, again. We had tea in high fashion, watched Argo for the first time, and chatted about the possibility of me living in Paris (and the difficulty of learning French in my late twenties).
This evening, when my exhaustion was at its peak, I put on some red lipstick and dragged myself out of the house. I had a glass of champagne and read a bit of a novel before meeting my friends. Between the high heels, lipstick, and champagne, I felt like my old self again! I was able to greet my old friends, make new friends, and celebrate!
Here’s my promise to God and myself (y’all are my witnesses):
1. I will rest more (even if it means that things on the almighty to-do list never get done).
2. I will do something I truly enjoy every single day.
3. I will treat time with myself with respect. I will not interrupt me-time to do work.
Being with old and new friends revived me–they reminded me that life is something that ought to be cherished. If I want to enjoy all of my life, I have to start resting more…so I don’t miss out on great nights.
If you’re approaching burnout from work or life, or everything, check out Martha Beck’s article: