Burn-Out: the Friday morning list

Thank the weeping hose, love the water that runs through it

We burn out.

It’s a slow process – maybe similar to what a snake feels as its skin ages, dries out and becomes less flexible – I can imagine so.  Its only gradually that I notice I’m repeating my stories, turning good rituals into mindless habits, missing cues I’m normally quick to pick up on, sparking forward-moving ideas less and less often.

Experience has taught that this slow erosion of self inevitably leads to the day when I realize that all my body & mind want to do for the rest of my life is read and sleep: Passive please, not active any more.

But my soul?

Always in these times, my soul needs attention.

I’m not quite there yet, but I’m close. Here’s where I’m at:
– some jobs (just 2, and we’ll stop there) have become bewilderingly impossible to complete (OMG. Why can’t I DO this?),
– incomplete conversations spiral dangerously close to big daunting emotional messes that will require serious clean up…
– I’ve taken many small measures  to save time – some essential soul-feeding things went first.  I know better too – it never helps, since more mindless tasks & needless commitments rush in to fill the available space….
– the TO DO list has grown overwhelmingly longer and longer
– urgency increases at the same rate that new obstacles appear (also a definition of road rage)
– intolerance – from bad spelling to unfortunate choice of clothing – all seems grounded in a pandemic lack of courtesy, and I Am Now Crotchety.

what strange beings poppies are

So no, this time, No burn-out.  Instead, I attend to my soul.

Friday morning List:

1. write a friday morning list. (HA!)

2. jump in the lake at least three times daily.

3. read Marasu Emoto:  Messages from Water and the Universe, because Mister Emoto’s theories provide  simple, beautiful soul-food.

4. examine all commitments, find in them what feeds my soul,  Then engage.

5. lift one thing out of habit and place it back into the sacred.

6. sing, loudly, for at least twenty minutes.

7. with gratitude for its’ past service, find something I no longer need and actively give it freedom.

8. arrive somewhere unexpectedly.

9. sit absolutely still for longer than I think I can.  notice.

10. Transform every complaint into appreciation.

soul food.

Happy heat wave, everyone (it’s kind of like a series of snow days, except in summer:  it’s okay to slow down a little).



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  1. Oh my….I have been going through much the same recently, finding myself wondering, “What IS this, this aging thing?!” I find myself more and more wanting to slow down and pare down and do exactly as you, read and sleep. And occasionally crawl into a good movie. It’s funny (and comforting) to see it in words here, and your revised things to do list for me is very similar to much of what Erma Bombeck wrote about as she faced her aging self in “If I Had My Life to Live Over.” It’s about wanting to do more soulful things and not worry so hard about keeping up, anything. And here’s what I’m learning, it’s OK! It’s OK to grow older. And,,,I’m actually enjoying it!

    • Thanks for the response Catherine. I have to say though, (with the proviso that I’m thoroughly enjoying my own ageing process too) – I resist the idea that this attentiveness to soul is about getting older. Rather I think that it’s more about personal sustainability, no matter what age/stage you’re at – there’s just less and less room for unconscious behavior or decision-making in this current socio-economic, cultural climate, even if you have barely a spare minute in your day.

      I see highschool kids and university kids who are similarly taking stock of what’s on their plate to determine what is essential to their being (which is inseparable from the environment, after all), and what is superfluous. Also – our very own Green Taxi man – his ACTUAL BUSINESS arises from this kind of ‘integrity of self’, and willingness to be of service. I consider what would happen if everyone did this, gradually stopped chasing their own tails and got down to work on things that actually, truly serve them, and therefore all of us: would we still have trouble responding to famine and aids crises in Africa? Would we be so driven by the financial markets? Would we consume as much as we do, or require as many stress-relieving gadgets? I wonder.

      I guess I do believe that personal is also universal – what you do for yourself you also do for everything around you. So, if I allow myself to burn out, I threaten many many other structures that I am part of (and many I’m not even aware of). I think that’s what I was going for in the blog.

      Thanks again Catherine. And I’m glad that you’ve got to the stage where increased age is more like permission than condemnation – hooray!

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