Anila Kitteon

Anila Kitteon
Sniff the Daffs

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Burn Out

It would appear that one cannot run on air and food alone.

Recently, HG has discovered a game (PC) that he enjoys playing enough to remain sitting at his computer desk in his mastermind-esque chair until well into the night. Now this doesn't/shouldn't have a direct impact on his wife, yet she does tend to occupy herself until HG comes downstairs to brush his teeth (well actually she hears him push his chair away from his desk and leaps up to claim first dibs on the electric toothbrush!).

Anyway, for the past 4 months (approx) I have been working Monday evenings at the Youth Club attached to our building. For the past 4 weeks, I have also been co-ordinating a family group AND volunteering with a charity on Thursday evenings. So my schedule has looked like this:

  • Mondays - Arrive home around 10:30pm
  • Tuesdays - No work but only opportunity for exercise
  • Wednesdays - Arrive home around 8:45pm
  • Thursdays - Arrive home around 9:45pm
  • Fridays - No work but rare quality time with HG (or friends)
This hadn't been working too badly, because on the days I work late, HG takes his own car and I don't have to leave the house at 7:15am to get him to work for 8am.

However, last Monday we car shared, walked a dog as a favour, then HG caught train and I worked at Youth Club. So petrol money saved but less rest for myself.

Tuesday was an early but comparatively short day but it also included supervision, where I was advised to stay focused, on track and "leave a legacy" during my last month of work (I'll come to that later).

With meetings to be in early for on Wednesday and Thursday, and bedtimes around midnight (alarm goes off at 6:10am), I started to lag. This wasn't helped by the pressure of 'leaving a legacy' through leading a meeting with my team about filling in the gaps when I've moved on.

Friday, HG and I had a discussion about something or other and I found myself crying (which always upsets him). I dropped him off, worried about me, and re-opened the floodgates as I drove the 7mins to my own office. There, some workmen were waiting to speak to someone and I pulled myself together while I dealt with the situation.

I battled through the morning, chatted to kind colleagues and listened to my body (too late) as I cancelled the lady at the charity to say I didn't think it was sensible to work all day Saturday in the state I'd become. It also hit me that I had only attended my Gran's funeral a week ago (relevant as the charity support families who have lost a loved one). 

The thing that triggered my tears in the car that morning, was when HG said "you're so giving..." It hit me at that point that this quality had become both my gift and my downfall. I needed to give myself some support, rather than giving away all my energy. HG has said to me in the past that he only gets what little energy I have remaining after work, groups and exercise. I guess I can see why he gets frustrated when our time together usually involves getting cosy and watching a film; which equates to me finally relaxing. To the point where I just sleep. This isn't fun for him, but is heaven for me.

So. Saturday session bailed on, my Manager then thanks me for my email (summarising the outcome of Thursday's meeting) but points out that it wasn't what she had asked for and could I now do this (seemingly huge project). I begged myself not to start crying again, attempted to clarify her requests, advised I would write some notes and check I understood her. I then packed up and shuffled out of the door, driving back up the road for 7+mins (slightly further) and crying again as I went. I have now renamed that stretch of road Teardrop Way.

The afternoon went ok (I distracted myself in a different, lovely Youth Centre), collected HG and took him for his early birthday treat (proper Italian gelato - his fave!).

My friend came round in the evening and I got up early to say goodbye Saturday morning. With my Saturday now re-claimed, I busied myself making HG birthday cakes, cleaning, pottering etc. (anything but actually resting!). Friends came round at 6pm, we got ready and walked 40mins to the restaurant for HG's birthday meal. We ate, drank and hit a pub (which we very rarely do) before catching a cab home, chatting, eating cake and hitting the sack at 3am.

Sunday - my only opportunity for exercise - I wished HG a Happy Birthday and whizzed off to Bootcamp :) On my return, the in-laws were only 20-30mins away so I ushered sleepy friends around, HG into shower and tidied/washed up.

By the afternoon I was flaking. I don't know how people fit children into their life/agenda! It was icy cold and windy outside. I said outloud that I didn't have the energy to attend my friend's outdoor wildlife event in the afternoon so we relaxed. HG cooked (on his own birthday!), we loaded the in-laws' car with 'stuff' from our home and waved them off. HG took the hint that I fancied time alone, however was later very upset that I'd wasted my energy on bootcamp and we hadn't actually had any time together. I'd done it again.

Monday morning we car shared - I hadn't been to bed particularly early and felt like pants.

I felt sorry for myself all morning, got very little done and met HG in our lunchbreaks (also a rare occurrence these days).  After lunch I said hi to my friend (same building, different office), we started chatting and I found myself balling again...
A friend I had been texting was begging me to head home, as massive snowfall was heading towards our town (as it was some colleagues/friends took 4-9hrs to get home). So I did it. I cancelled on the people I was due to see/work with and headed home. Crying.

Once home I slept. However my cold/illness had transformed into a stomach bug. I have ended up having Tuesday AND Wednesday off!

There's a slightly reassuring feeling when the decision is taken out of our hands. I'd like to thank my body (the most amazing instrument we'll ever have) for forcing me to stop.

However time is creeping on once again this evening - it's so hard to get to bed early!

New mission:
Do NOT turn computer on after groups. Instead head straight to bed.

Wish me luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment