Burnout: Going to My Happy Place


A few days ago, I realized I’m just about crispy fried. Hand shaking, nail biting, random crying, nervous edging. Not like those months right after leaving, mind  you. Just enough to know something needs to change pretty dadgum quick.

I wrote a few friends, asked for advice and prayer, then settled in for a nice vacation.  Not actually going anywhere,  but for the next two weeks I’m purposefully disconnecting from the thoughts, worries and activities that litter my days with reasons to freak.

This morning I realized just how often we all struggle with burnout and decided to share. I’ll post a quick update every day or so complete with pictures and a bullet point list of stuff that’s helping along with the crap that most decidedly is not. I’d love to hear your comments and ideas if you’ve got a notion.

Right now, the plan involves extra sleep which may or may not work out so well but I’m going to give it the old college try regardless. I bought a couple of how-to-paint books which look hard enough to engage the mind and easy enough for some instant gratification. My ipod is fully loaded and, I swear, I’ll drug the dog is he barks one more time.

Things not to do:

  • No job hunting
  • No serious blog post writing until vacation is over
  • No worrying over things I can’t control anyway (I am cracking myself up over here)

Thoughts and prayers much appreciated.

29 responses »

    • I love those colors together. It’s phylo blue and some orange from a pan set I’ve got around here somewhere that I can’t read the names because they’re written in German.

      At least I *think* it’s German. . .

      Not going to stress over that either, lol.

      • Good job on the “not stressing”! Baby steps… Maybe you can go out of your way to NOT care about the little things, be flippant, make a joke of stuff. Let’s just say it’s not German. Let’s say it’s altered Engliosh. Yes, Engliosh, complete with typo to make it sound better. 🙂

  1. Good morning, Ida! I’m laughing with you (about the not worrying… and a little about the idea of drugging the dog…) and praying with you, too. God can’t lie and He said that all your hairs are numbered. If He has THAT kind of time on His hands, then surely He has already determined how He is going to provide for you, restore your soul and heart and bless you.

    I’m going to suggest that He might give you a few hints about it just to make you feel better.

    The colors in the Koi watercolor are riveting; one feels that they could dive in to the deep blues. Beautiful – like you.


    • Oh! That reminds me of a really funny cartoon I saw on hair counting. I’ll see if I can find it and post if for you– totally non-stressful activity (unless I can’t find it within fifteen seconds or so 🙂 )

      Thank you, Elizabeth– I really appreciate the prayers. You might remember the dog as well. . .

  2. Ida – love the painting! It is beautiful! I love your idea of just disconnecting. Sounds so perfect. You have been on my mind a lot lately. I have been having lots of internal conversations with you as I have beed mucking my way through more “stuff” lately. I am glad you posted despite the burnout. I chuckled at the thought of drugging the dog if he barks one more time….I have three that bark at birds in China and the thought of drugging all three has definitely passed through my mind at times! I saw the hair counting cartoon – so funny! Take care. Lots of hugs and prayers to you.

    • Well, if you ever feel the need for a real conversation, I posted my email address not too long ago. (thoroughlychristian_@_webwrinkles.com– just remove the underscores). I’m around quite a bit and it’s always easier to emote over someone else’s troubles than your own, lol.

      That dog may be in trouble the next couple of weeks. He is seriously working my last nerve.

  3. Thatta girl!!! Proud of you. I pray for cool nights and lovely sunny days so you can rest well and enjoy sitting outside, even laying on the lounge chair (there is one, right?) and wear the headset, so you can tune everything out but the music you love. I’d dog sit the dog too, if that would help, if you could crate the beast and ship cheap.

    Seriously, do nothing but take care of yourself. If the phone rings and it’s not one of your kids, or someone you can’t bear to not hear from, let the answering machine get it. Don’t answer the door. I’d even recommend taking a couple of Sundays off and going by yourself to a body of sweet water and commune with the Lord without anyone else there. As a good friend of mine once said, “God isn’t going to fall out of heaven if you don’t go to church one Sunday, Morven.”

    Blowing you hugs …. oh, and don’t forget to have a few nice cups of tea 😉

  4. You are so wise to take care of yourself, Ida Mae. We all need to learn to listen more when those internal fire alarms start to go off! (Isn’t it the not listening that got us into the mess we’re in now?)

    I hope you have a very peaceful “staycation” and time of fellowship with the Lord. And I agree with the others, the painting is beautiful. As a pisces and avid water-lover, I really dig it.

    • Thanks Julie. I’m planning to paint more stuff this week so I’ll post pictures for better or worse. That was pretty easy but these flowers I’m about to start may be another story entirely.

  5. The first day I prayed for you to see God’s hand of provision, I received an unanticipated check in the mail for work I did for a family member over a year ago and never billed them for. Never even thought about it.

    So I said I’d pray 2x as hard yesterday. And I did.

    And last night I received word that “someone” is moving more than 2,000 miles away, for good. The one someone that I’d want to be as far away from as humanly possible.

    I’m praying for you 3x as hard today.

    XXOO Elizabeth

    Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
    I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”
    You make known to me the path of life;
    In your presence there is fullness of joy;
    At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

    (Psalm 16:1-2, 16 ESV)

    • Ha!

      As a quick update, the plumber left in time for evening bathing rituals, all fixtures in working order. The gas company seems to be gone, the hole in the street is filled in and the hot water heater works so I think we’re good. The dog has been relatively quiet, bless him. He has confined his barking so far to the postman.

      For some reason, he decided the plumber and gas people outside were okay. Odd but true~

    • I wasn’t really too worried because I felt certain they would evacuate if we were in danger but that foreman was so nervous, I started getting suspicious. And the guy who came in to inspect the house was way jumpier than the foreman.

      The infrastructure in our neck of the woods is decrepit by modern standards. A few years back, there were several big explosions inside neighborhoods. No one was hurt but the homes were damaged. I think they take these things pretty serious for that reason.

      But now they are done. The noise was killer!

  6. Dear, Dear Ida Mae –

    I keep praying for you and God keeps working in me. He and I had a heart to heart earlier this week wherein I informed Him (yes, I was in a very importunate place!) that even though I might not be strong enough, educated enough, smart enough, pretty enough or thin enough — that no longer was I going to allow any of my own limitations or shortcomings (ha ha, I am only 5 feet tall!) to contain my view of what is possible.

    I might not be able to do stuff, but He is. And I may have suggested that He was free to do so.

    This little conversation grew out of a trip to a local mall where I tried on 15 pair of pants and none fit; doubly embarrassing as my loving and wonderful husband could not be talked out of going to the mall with me, and believe me, I tried, but he insisted on spending time with me because he loves and values me… oh bother…

    Upon arriving home I put my unwitting pomeranian on the other end of a leash and set out on a 3 mile walk with a vengeance. Steaming at myself and the injustice of needing to lose 30 pounds when I work so freaking hard all the time, do so much for others, have had 4 kids (and now have 2 grandkids with another on the way…) letting my own insecurities overwhelm me.

    I realized after the first mile that I shouldn’t be surprised that Satan was in full-on attack in my most vulnerable areas since good things have been happening in my life and – quite frankly – since I started living my Christianity out loud and online in new ways.

    In no uncertain terms I gave Satan walking papers and yelled (on the inside, so my neighbors wouldn’t think that I was crazy) that NO MORE would I feel not good enough. No more. That kind of thinking has had its day and it’s day is over. Man, I was mad.

    And so then I started praying for you. Not so much asking God, I admit, as claiming promises on your behalf. I expect Him to act. We’ve been studying grapes and giants at church and I wonder why we don’t believe that God has already given us “the land” — we read those old Bible stories and think somehow that God has changed. He hasn’t.

    So I prayed for you, and I prayed for me.

    And God is working. Late last week I was contacted by a huge industry player in one of the niche industries for which I write (marketing books) about becoming a speaker within their organization and at national trade shows. And yesterday, the day after I prayed for you with – er – insistence and resolve – I received a phone call relative to a job I applied for 3 days ago — a job that would be a dream job for me. I’m off to the interview in about an hour and I’m going to pray all the way there – for you.

    It seems to be working. At this rate, I will never pray for myself again. And I’m considering writing a book called, “Praying for Ida Mae.”

    • Okay Elizabeth, I am *literally* laughing out loud over here~

      I’m right up against the Red Sea so you keep right on praying– things have actually gotten tighter. I’m not going to say worse because despite what it looks like, I believe things are going forward. But that doesn’t negate the fact that the chariots are headed this way. God just has to intervene and that’s a fact.

      Good thing that’s His specialty~

      • I can imagine, you now have a pretty good visual of a five foot nuthin’ spitfire telling God how it needs to be, with her little dog, too…. I was going to cast my eyes down and apologize to God for my attitude, then I remembered that He knew me before I was in my mother’s womb, He formed me, and I am fearfully and wonderfully made… so I’m just going to go with it, instead!

  7. I’ll be praying for your interview, Elizabeth! Praying our friend with the gas problem (ha ha) can get an interview soon too. Meanwhile, how is the rest going, dearest Ida Mae? Hugs – and yes, cups of tea – being sent your way. Have some good brew in your pansy cup and know you are loved xo

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