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9: Getting back in the game
Burnout is not a badge of honour, but rather a disconnection from the body.
Nearly everyone has a burnout story these days. It has almost become a badge of honour, subconsciously (or consciously) proclaiming how hard you can work. "I burned out in (insert year here)". I've been there too, and I have realised that it represents a profound disconnection from the body.
I existed entirely in my anxious mind, ignoring all the physical signals indicating all was not well. I was chronically fatigued, had lost over 5kg in a few months, and had injuries in my shoulders, hips, ankles and knees. The final straw was having to undergo a hospital procedure to ensure everything was okay with my plumbing. I'll spare you the details.
I didn't learn my lesson and nearly did it again in 2021. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Now, I'm making sure to put in some long periods of rest and recovery every year.
August was that period for me this year. I had booked a meditation course for the beginning of August, and by happy accident, I messed up the dates for a holiday to visit Mana Pools game reserve in Zimbabwe. I had booked that holiday at the beginning of the year and thought it was only at the end of the month. Instead, I had only three nights at home before catching a red-eye flight to Harare. Relaxing in the bush turned out to be a helpful soft landing after the intense meditation course (more on that to come elsewhere).
The time off has worked some magic. My mind feels refreshed, and I can feel a resurgence of energy in my body. I'm going to get back to the climbing gym (I've only climbed twice this year), I'm restarting Brazilian jiu-jitsu this week (I haven't trained in over a year), and I'm participating in several meditation, dance and movement workshops in the next few weeks. Heck, I may even start going on dates again after six months of intense hermitting. I've realised that despite learning to love my own company, nothing beats connecting with great people.
Although this implies I'll be getting out of the house more and not spending every waking hour of every day in front of my computer, I'm also hoping to spend a lot more time writing (instead of making content on how to use the writing tool 😋). There is a lot that I would like to crystallise for myself, even if I never publish it. If I do publish anything, I will be sure to point to the pieces in coming museletters.
If you're new here, thanks for signing up. Recently these museletters have started to take the form of 'life updates', but that's not really the goal. I'm not sure if there is any goal though, so maybe that's fine for now. Everything is a work in progress 🙂 If you have any questions or would like to say hi, drop me an email–my address can be found here.
Until next time 👋🏽