Man in Black Rant: Burn Out

I write this post, having just lost about $400 in a single day, for no reason.  That’s what entropy is, that’s what life is like, and that’s why I feel I’m at the end of my ropes sometimes.

Time is such a valuable thing, yet so often, we feel compelled to waste it.  We push ourselves to the limit, and spend hours staring at Youtube or the television, eating chips.  Not only do these apparently compulsive acts waste time, but for those of us making an effort to get in shape or lose weight, we’re actually reversing time and wasting that past effort as well.  But still, during those moments, for one reason or another, many of us find it hard to turn those hours into something productive.

My goal, then, is to limit those hours.  For those of you who won’t know, I work 50-60 hours a week on my day job, plus maintaining a relationship that by its very nature is one I can’t easily schedule.  I try to maintain a weekly show… that until this past week, I hadn’t updated in two months.  Plus a weekly vlog show, that I broke by trying to edit a months’ worth of special episodes and temporarily canceled the show as it waits for me to do said editing.  I post weekly text articles, more or less.  And I run a 3 part website, which has zero income.  I pay about $1600 a month in bills, I make about $1680 a month, I just had my wisdom teeth out, and I have a $1200 dental bill for procedures that I’ve been waiting 4 years without insurance to do (though, had I realized how easy it was to meet my yearly cap for dental work, I would have paid for the work before I had all these bills to pay).

What I mean to say is that I work hard, and I have no shortage of things on my mind, and bills to pay.  Not looking for sympathy, but the fact of the matter is that if I don’t start to skew the revenue to bill ratio a little bit on the positive side, I’m going to be out of ways to pay for things.  This has two impacts on this conversation: More reasons to stress (aka, easier to burn out, calories are more likely to be converted into fat, etc.) and it’s more important than ever not to burn out.

Case in point, if it wasn’t important, I could potentially allow myself to muse over this and become depressed.  Instead, I turn depression into anxiety and make a rant about this.

For those wondering, I’m not coming to a conclusion here.  This is a commentary and a rant, nothing more.

So how to avoid this wasted time?  No porn? Easily enough done.  Stop watching webshows?  Kind of like telling an academic to stop reading books because it might interfere with their homework time, but moderation in everything is important.  I’ve tried giving up exercise time for more productive things- anybody who’s tried it both ways can tell you this is a losing battle.  Exercise is good for your body, but it also helps your mind wander and relieves stress on a chemical level.

More sleep?  Insert maniacal laughter here.  Sleep is a double edged sword.  So is insomnia.  I’m more creative on less sleep- when I can focus and type.  You can do more work when you’re awake than when you’re asleep- but if you get no sleep, you’d be astonished to find out how useless your work can get very quickly.  On top of that, I’m the type of person who gets their wind around 12am- if I worked a night job, I would probably be the most productive person on the payroll.  What this means is that staying up till 5am is liable to produce my best work.  Whatthat means is that I have a job that I have to show up at, at 9am more often than not.

What other strategies are there?  Cut out my hobbies?  I’m a reviewer, I can make my hobbies productive.  Expect a 3 episode 5 man special this year and a 20 episode 5 man series to start within the same.  Stop taking time out to talk to friends?  In this line of work, that’s a death sentence (I’m talking internet reviewing now, not my day job).

Are there more strategies?  Effective ones?  I don’t have an answer for that.  If you’ve got something, tell me.  I’m not up for making excuses, but I would like to see more results when I’m this tired.  What I do know is that, whether if it’s because of how I was raised, because of my genetics, or because of the music and shows I grew up on, I’m not a person who can collapse and give up.  I’ve seen myself burned out on certain things, but I fear that if I don’t rise to this occasion, I’m going to fall into a figurative pit that has more spikes at the bottom than I’ve ever dealt with.

Perhaps this is why I put so much into online work that’s not getting me anywhere.  Because if I’m going to hope for a miracle, one that will allow me to join my girlfriend of over 3 years in the state she lives in, without going bankrupt in the process… this is the place I’m going to try and make it happen.

One thing that’s for certain is that stress, and pushing and breaking your boundaries, are almost always where innovation and creation come from when they are most successful.  So maybe, just maybe, the process of burning out will produce a phoenix.

I don’t mean to be egotistical, but I would like to be a phoenix.

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