Over a month ago, I walked into my mum’s kitchen where she was frying pork. Ladies and gentlemen, her pork is amazing I must say. Plus, the aroma filled the kitchen in such a heavenly manner. However, that’s not the point of this post. I stood at the door and looked at her. No words came out. She asked how I was. I looked back at her, confused, as if I couldn’t understand the words she was saying. My mind travelled to five different places in a space of about 30 to 60 seconds. All that came to my mind is the number of tasks I had not completed and yet the day was practically done. I had slept late the previous two or more nights because I was working late to make up for whatever I wasn’t able to finish during the previous days. This sleep deficiency was punctuated by the fact that I had been working day in, day out for over a month, even on Sundays.
She asked again, “How are you?”
No words came out. I just looked at her. I wasn’t doing this intentionally. Nothing like this had ever happened to me, at least not that I remember. I should have responded with a one-word answer, at the very least, but no sound came out. I felt that if I even dared speak, I would fall apart the next minute. I had reached a point I hadn’t planned to reach. My whole body felt weird. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I was on the edge of tears. I didn’t understand myself at that moment. So, what did I do? I turned back and walked out of the kitchen, without a word! I apologized the next day or later that night, I can’t quite remember exactly when. She understood and reminded me ever so gently how she’d been advising me to rest.
Friends, I am not like that. I wasn’t trying to show mum any attitude. That kitchen-mute scenario though, was my cue to pause. I switched off my phone for two hours that night and did nothing work-related. I remember taking a warm bath and unplaiting my hair. I just paused. I did nothing that involved my brain or body in a very active manner. I didn’t even watch a movie or do anything special. I just paused. I didn’t talk to anyone in those two hours. After those two hours, I felt like a new person. I had a meal and slept earlier than I was used to in that period.
I think the point is made. Burn out is real. To my fellow recovering workaholics out there, pause every day. It’s not a crime. This is a lesson I am still learning. In all this, I thank God for good health and the fact that nothing extreme happened despite my bad habits. He’s such a God of grace. Until next time, which will be soon, PAUSE, because burn out is real.
Feature photo by photosforyou–124319 (canva)
And I chose the cat because why not?