How to not burn out (insert laughter here).

I’m laughing because I am burned out.

I’m so burned-out I think I burned out my burnout.

But, I’m not out of the game and that counts for something (no it doesn’t not really).

Because, I can do better than just ‘not out of the game’. I want to be in the game and feeling good, not barely in the game coughing up a lung. (If this sounds familiar to you, well, I have I’ve written about this before Feeling tired, maybe you’re burned out).

Here’s what happened this spring. I was living my life of too-much-stuff (I always have too much stuff) but this year I didn’t have any wiggle room for the over-stuff of life.

So, I’m careening along like the Dukes of Hazard car, on two wheels and spring comes. Spring, for me is final exams, final projects, final grades for my 210 students, a graduating senior, sick parents, athletic kids with LOTS of final year events, a dog that pees during stress, another dog that eats butter, when people are too busy to put it away, and barfs in the car. Then the flu. Then a cold. And seriously could somebody please invent a lawnmower that doesn’t yank my arm out of the socket when starting?

Here’s what you should do.

Call my phone and leave this message:

“So, what happened Doctor I-Know-Everything-About-Health? How did the stress management expert, who is so sure she can help people, go so far astray? Riddle me this Smarty Mc-smarty.” (No don’t say that last part it’s mean).

Here’s what went wrong. I didn’t listen to what my body was saying. My body was saying,

“I’m tired, mom.”

And I was saying, “Shut-up you sissy. Take a nap and get to work.”

My mind can be kind of nasty, never letting me just be a little human. My mind taps it’s little time piece and say, “Tick tock, times-a-wasteing.” I got afraid that if I didn’t keep working and keep selling books that I wouldn’t get another book deal. I worried that if I didn’t go to every book store event and tweet every last thought I’d be washed up.

Then, I got washed up in another way.

I got sick.

Yeah, this is a continued battle for me. I have to learn the lesson of Listen To Your Body every spring (and Christmas and if I’m honest, I’m not great during Arbor day either).

My body knows what’s-what and my mind can be kind of a bully.

Next time my body says, “I’m tired Mom.” I’ve got to remember to say, “Ok honey, take a break. It’ll all still be here when you return.”