When I get burned out, it’s because I’m doing so much work I don’t have time to do the work I want to do.
I had a job recently which was a great job: good coworkers, boss, pay, etc. But because of the way the contract was structured, I didn’t get to do a whole lot and often couldn’t do what anything directly. I had to watch others or prepare for others. I got burned out something fierce.
Right now I’m over committed with my free time. Employment is whatever, but I’m pushing the Nine, trying to shape Bedtime Stories up into the final draft (Final Draft #4, so yeah), and writing Death Mountain. A couple of side stressors, get into better shape and not spend money, are hardly unique or especially challenging, but screwing around and spending money were two things I could do that I liked to do. I am now broke, so obviously that’s not so good on the planning end.
I’ve also noticed that often I do nothing, spend a lot of time doing it, and then don’t have time to do things I want to do. I always thought this was me being ridiculous, but I’ve read about the same phenomena from CS Lewis and Marcus Aurelius.
However it happens, this feeling results in intense feelings of powerlessness that initiate burnout. The solution seems to be work more, but work smarter and harder. I am not sure how this is done.
Which of course I wouldn’t be. If I knew how to work smarter, I would, but that itself is a learning process and a lengthy goal.
All of this is a lengthy way of saying nothing, but it’s what I’m thinking about.
I visited Evergreen Library today, a bit outside Denver but not far. It’s amazing. A deer and her fawn nested ten feet from the windows, and I got a table with natural sunlight and a view of trees. Powered through my two hours of DM, which is steadily contracting in productivity as I try to work out all the little plot holes. After that I went and roamed, and wound up driving up Mt Evans. The highest paved road in the US services the peak, and at the top it was sub freezing with biting wind. I had no clothes or boots, so I did no hiking. The road is CO RT 103, Squaw Pass. It’s worth a trek, but be careful. The road isn’t well paved, and its busy with cars, bikers, and wildlife.
It would be interesting to go back, fully prepared, and hike a little in those conditions. That’s good prep for serious mountaineering. But I’d need a buddy and probably a GPS, and I’m not kitted out to undertake such things yet.
The mountains did remind me why I live here. I could see over the shoulders of lesser peaks into Denver sprawled out on the plains, as well as formations of white-bearded old men with their arms linked to the west. I saw the Sangre Cristo Basin (I think) spread out, mountains on either side, and tall purple shadows in the distance. They really do look like phantoms standing in a line.
Mountains are weird. They don’t look like peaks, but rather low bumps on brown fabric, the green stopping far below and the white only frosting the tips.
Mountain goats aren’t. A pack of them, five or six, blocked a road for a while, and they looked exactly like you’d think. If you have a picture of ‘big goat’ in your head, that’s a mountain goat. Don’t embellish; you’ve already got it.