Tired: After a Month of Too Many Commitments

Following is something I wrote last September. I say this in the spirit of full disclosure. (In other words, I’ve got to come up with a different excuse for everything I’ve done wrong this month.) Didn’t print it right away because I felt like I wanted to let it sit and see if it made sense. Can’t say it does; but here it is anyway  

I would like to apologize to everyone — everyone I know, everyone I don’t know, everyone who is counting on me, everyone I am counting on, everyone to whom I owe something, everyone.  The last few days, I haven’t been working at the quality level I expect of myself. Recent events have taken a whole lot more out of me than I suspected. (Maybe, probably, most assuredly, not surprisingly).

You hit the ground with all cylinders running. You feel at the top of your game. You manage to achieve what might have been foreseen as impossible. And when it’s over you come crashing to a halt because, if you run at a caffeine-fueled 10,000 rpms for too long a time, the engine needs a rest, an overhaul, relubrication (water, oil, food, tequila, sleep — not all of the above, not in that order, often mixed.)

And today the engine is still in recovery phase.

Why does it amaze us that it takes more than one night to recover from a month of burning the candle at both ends, somewhere in the middle, and from deep inside? (“When I was young I could do it.” No, you couldn’t.) I sit somewhat dazed in front of the desk/the computer/the screen/the keyboard and try to write the things I’m supposed to write, and try to analyze the things I’m supposed to analyze, and try to read the things I’m supposed to read, and try to make since of the work that makes sense at all other times.

I give no guarantees on anything I have done in the last few days, nor for the things I will do in the next few.

Yes, there will be a recovery point. At some point I will be back to whatever level of ability I normally exhibit. But, it will not be today. All I can say with assuredness is that, at some point, it will happen. (Hopefully, in time for the next set of commitments.)

However, there is one other guarantee I will make. I will do this again — I will over-commit and burn my way through another set of frantic-filled days. It is exhilarating and horrifying and thrilling and too-much work and a hoot and a holler and a whole lot of fun. Because facing and overcoming such challenges helps each of us prove we really exist and that we really make a difference. For some it is marathons, for some it is competitive eating, for some it is visiting 1,000 places you have to see before you die, for some it is sitting through an entire Woody Allen film festival, for some it is getting a PhD in Audit Sciences, for some it is getting one kid to soccer and another to music lessons and another to ice skating and then picking them all up without forgetting a single one, and for some it is actually finishing that good-for-nothing-twelve-times-rewritten-does-anyone-even-remember-why-the-audit-was-on-the-schedule-in-the-first-place audit report.

And for some of us it is taking on too many projects at the same time.

No matter how old or young you are, there is absolutely nothing more fun than reaching for more than you think you can do, and then actually pulling some of it off.

And, once I get some rest, I will do it again.

Posted on Mar 4, 2012 by Mike Jacka

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