Yesterday I listened to a Planet Money episode called “Burnout.”
In that episode they play a clip from an interview with the psychologist that coined the phrase, Herbert Freudenberger. In it, Herbert says that he “[doesn’t] know how to have fun. [He doesn’t] know how to be readily joyful.”
It wasn’t depression, and it wasn’t really exhaustion, it was more that he was so focused and unrelentingly pushing himself with his work that his mind had forgotten on how to do anything else but work.
As soon as I heard that I identified with it. I’m doing more work than ever and I feel like I’m growing less than ever. I’m tired all the time and all I can think to do is chores, errands, more work, or crashing into bed. Even my leisure time feels like a series of chores. I’m not depressed – I keep waking up everyday and I’m working out and I’m checking so many damn boxes on so many damn lists.
But man, I’m really sick of it all. Like a drug addict watching their cigarette just burnout, I’m really just watching myself get older and tired and taking in that long journey to the middle.
And like they talk about in the episode – there’s really no one that takes this kind of thing seriously. It’s not a recognized problem. So it’s up to me to make my own way.