Thursday, June 16, 2011

Burnt Out

There comes a time when one realizes that one’s assumptions is crap. A readjustment is needed to get back into track or at least to sanity. When does one realize that one is heading towards a cliff, after following all the self-help books that one can find? It’s a realization that all is for naught; time is wasted and spent on triviality. The urge then is to accomplish something right away to make up for lost time.  Is it an epiphany when one sees his neighbor doing well with seeming ease while one is burning the midnight oil chasing some dream or another to keep up? When do you question one’s reality when one’s dream is not fulfilled? Or least the frustration that no one seems to understand and one is looking for some acknowledgement that one is in the right path. Sadly, that’s only in the movies and one is left floundering. Not God or family members or friends will give that sign.

There are just too many things to do. I think that is the problem.  The stress and anxiety is self – inflicted because one has a long list of desires. There is no more time for quiet and reflection.  For instance, one feels burnt out with the constant pace at work that one needs a break. A vacation would be good but no one in the family seems to want one; preferring to stay home to surf the internet or watch television. ‘Get a life,’ one would shout while one’s colleagues and neighbors travel and go on vacations. One is left trying out his dreams to no avail. Last night, I wanted to go to a scribbler’s session but was lazy. Instead I watched the lecture I bought about building good sentences. A good alternative because the lecture was educational. Hence, the desire to improve as a writer was met for the day. One just quenched a desire to try something new like going to a scribbler’s meeting.

It’s the proper prioritization of activities. What really needs to be done? Finally, one has spent time working on the tablet, trying to coax it into usability and relevance. It’s not just the feeling of ownership and exploration and new knowledge but actually finding uses in day to day life that’s important. The technology will in fact help one organize one’s life if used properly. Most of the time technology is a source of diversion and entertainment. It’s only in business where one tries to use technology to make work efficient and, thereby, cut jobs or outsource work to Mexico or India or China. Not a good outcome for those who lose their jobs. But technology is also the answer to re-invent oneself. There are choices to be made: to be a technologist or a writer.  Blogging was a way to serve these twin goals but now one is confused on the road to take. It’s always this cautious stance to have all the bases covered that one loses out.

Is this a character flaw? One wonders as he faces a cross road. Was this the correct direction to take or a reflection of a character flaw? In one’s mind one needs to decide if one has gone to the right path due to logical reasoning or a desire to have one’s hand in every pie. One is not in a society where everything is possible. Achieving one’s goal is also a curse. See the numerous successful people who have driven off a cliff: Dominique Strauss Kahn, Lindsey Lohan, Charlie Sheen and other folks who have gone out of control despite their seeming success. Hence, the solution is more a reduction of one’s desire than an accumulation or satisfaction of one’s urges. It should not be a hedonistic lifestyle but an austere one. But this does not mean a boring one as an austere lifestyle can be adventurous and fulfilling if one lives within one’s means.  It is staying within a rational or reasonable framework.

One flaw I do recognize is a tendency to get more than one can chew. It is a reality in work and in eating food and also in impulse buying. There is this urge to be relevant by buying something or doing some new adventure. I guess one is trying to settle down into an austere life after living in the excessive east where one’s desires can be gratified. Now all that accumulated sin is coming back to haunt me. It distorts the values that one tries to adopt in the new world. The result is being burned out where one’s mental calculation goes haywire. There is no more option except to relax or face a nervous breakdown.  Last night while watching my son play soccer, I had thoughts of playing tennis or joining a soccer team. The sight of all these people running around and enjoying themselves under a cool summer night is the best way to spend the season.

But one is felt left out by the seeming rush of the world. One has this urge to go running and join marathons, to compete in tennis matches, to play golf, go skiing or kayaking.  It’s the staggering options that are easily available that one is driven to stress. What is one to do? The realm of the possible has been breached. This is the meaning of freedom one would think. It’s to be free in the pursuit of happiness as Thomas Jefferson penned in the Declaration of Independence. Or is it a recipe for disaster that would end in bankruptcies or financial bailout or stress and anxiety.   Jefferson was bankrupt after all. Hence, it is a question of philosophy; one that would enable one to keep sane and live life in serenity. There are just too many things to do and experience coupled with the demands of work and career that burns you out from attaining grace or bliss or whatever.

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