Tag Archives: burnout

Muse

“I never exactly made a book. It’s rather like taking dictation. I was given things to say.”
– C. S. Lewis

museblog

This writing thing is weird.

Let me explain…

Lately I have been in a bit of a slump in my life.  I have fallen out of love with something that used to be my biggest passion. My sanctuary.  My oasis.

Acting.

I actually stumbled across a poem I wrote years ago about how I felt about acting.  Mind if I share it with you?

Acting

My passion.

The feel of the hot lights on my face –
The way my heart beats wildly just before the curtain rises –
The adrenaline rush.

My escape.

Reality takes a back seat for two short hours –
Life’s problems are forgotten –
I am no longer me.

Scenes and emotions swirl around me
I get lost in the drama, the melodies;
Dilemmas are solved, Everyone is satisfied –
Happily ever after.

Not like the real world at all.

*sigh*

It makes me sad to read this.  The passion that I felt while writing this poem has managed to disappear somehow.  My escape from the stresses of everyday life has now become one of the stresses.  It has become work.  It has become tedious.  It has become a chore.

I’m just so tired.

Feeling something you once loved slowly slip over into something you dread is a very unsettling feeling.  It can really throw you off course.  Something that once defined you and made you who you are is no longer something you even like.  That’s crazy!  I mean, think about that for a minute.  If you don’t like the thing that defines you – the thing that you are, doesn’t that mean that you no longer like yourself?

Hmmm.  No wonder this has affected me so deeply.

So, my thoughts are weighted down with this heavy stuff this morning – feeling like I’m going to throw in the towel altogether on this whole acting business – when, as part of my normal morning routine habit, I check my blog stats.  Now, my stats show me how many views that each blog entry has received, including when the particular entry was last viewed, and it always surprises me when an older entry has been looked at.  It makes me wonder why.  Did someone remember it and look it up?  Did it show up in some kind of search results?  What called this old stuff to someone’s attention now?

This happened this morning, and the blog in question was the one entitled Burnout.

I saw that so many people had viewed it so, on a whim, I clicked on it myself and read it again.

Wow.  I wrote that?

At the time when I was writing it, I was talking about running.  But, reading it now, it blew my mind realizing how much I could take what I said and apply it to my acting.  There was a time that I felt like I would never run again.  But I was wrong.  After a much-needed break, I’m back.   I’m even thinking of signing up for another half marathon in November.  Being a runner is in my soul now.  It’s too late to turn back.  I couldn’t if I tried.  I’m a runner, whether I’m running or not.

Wait…what did I just say?

I’m a runner, whether I’m running or not.

Well.

Now, how about that?

I guess after re-reading that old blog entry, it’s safe to say that I can make the same assumption now.

I’m an actor, whether I’m acting or not.

No matter how much I feel like I’m ready to give it up, I’m not.  I just need a break.  I really needed that reminder.

Who knew that I would be turning to myself for advice?  It’s crazy, man.  I read this stuff and it’s almost like someone else wrote it.  At the time that I write these things, I’m tapping into a source of strength and energy that is not always there.  I’m not always positive.  I’m not always seeing the ‘silver lining.’  I’m not always someone who Chicken Soup for the Soul is ready to claim as one of their authors.  Believe me.  I can be just as grumpy and grouchy as the next guy.  But somewhere inside me is…well, I don’t know what.

A muse, maybe?

Oh heck, I don’t know what you call it.  But whatever it is, I sure am glad it’s there.  And I hope that the people reading this stuff can benefit from it the way that I have.

Sometimes I’m actually kind of proud of this thing I do.  I can’t wait to see where else it takes me.

***

“…Call it an angel
Call it a muse
 Call it karma that you’ve got comin’ to you
What’s the difference?
What’s in a name?
 What matters most is never ever losin’ faith
‘Cause it’s gonna be alright
You’re not alone tonight.”
– Keith Urban lyrics

Burnout

“Take a rest.  A field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”
– Ovid

I just remembered something.

I’m a runner.

Did you remember that?  Because I didn’t.  I’m tellin’ ya – I seriously think I forgot about that for a while.

I have these little ‘categories’ set up on my blog.  Not sure if anyone ever notices that you can search for writings under the categories, but I thought it was a cool option when I was designing this thing, so I went with it.  I set up four categories – Freestyle Writings, Poetic Musings, Running, and Songs.  When I first started out, I was afraid that the “running” category would be jam packed, and that my readers who were non-runners would be bored senseless.  I was at the peak of my running ‘career’ at that point – training my tail off for my first half-marathon (which I successfully completed in May, by the way).  I was full of wit and wisdom for new runners and amateur runners like myself – hoping to show everyone that anyone can do this running thing and that you just have to push through and believe in yourself and persevere through the obstacles…..yada yada.  So on and so forth.

But then – well, I don’t know.

I just kinda just stopped that.

I just clicked on my own “Running” tab to see the last thing I had written about running.  It was this:  https://missyspublicjunk.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/time-to-chill/  Oh.  An article called “Time to Chill.”  Well, that explains it.

At that time, I was all prepared to purchase this t-shirt and hang up my running shoes:

runningsucks

Yep.  I was done for a while.

In other words, I had been….

running-on-empty

Hehe.  Get it?  Running on empty?  Oh, the wit.

But I digress.

So, yeah.  I had achieved what many of us have achieved in many different areas of our lives at some point.   Anytime you’re passionate about something; you spend all your time doing said something; you dedicate your heart and soul and spirit to the something – there exists the risk of running into that little devil who is always waiting just around the corner to put a stop to it all.  What is this little devil, you ask?

Burnout.

“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions – your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker.”
– Sam Keen

That’s just it.  I had become a sleepwalker.

So, you know what I did?  I took a break.  And I think that’s the smartest thing I could have done for myself.

In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that I’ve started feeling the pull again.  I started with a few short runs – a mile or two here and there.  And slowly, I find myself inching my way back up.  A 4-miler here.  A 5-miler there.  And yesterday – I did my own little 10K just to prove I could.  Little by little,  I’m making my way back.  I saw a post yesterday for a 7-mile run up and down a mountain road here locally.  Hmmmm.  I have two months to train….

My point is this.  Burnout is real.  No matter how much you love something, no matter how much a part of your life it becomes, overdoing it can be problematic.  It really can.  It’s ok to take a break.  You know?  Chill out a little bit.  Let things settle.  Let yourself remember why you love this thing so much and why you ever started it in the first place.

Are you a runner?  Well, there.  Apply this lesson literally.  But if you’re not?  Well then, I’m sure there’s something you can apply it to.

Maybe even someone?  Now, there’s some food for thought.

But see, here’s the thing.  When you want it bad enough, when it has become a part of you, it won’t disappear.  I promise.  Taking a break is not going to un-do any progress you made.  This thing you love is not going to go away.  Not when it’s real.

Rest easy.  Stop worrying.  It will be back.  You’ll see.

***

“”Sometimes in sports there are times when it is best to wait for another day and try again, at least for me. I see life as the race and I see no honor in reaching the finish and passing out or crawling across the finishing line. In Costa Rica, we have a saying: It’s not about being the first to finish, it’s about how you get there.”
-Roman Urbina