If you have been following the Accidental Admins blog and/or our Twitter feed, you’ll have noticed that since the end of May I’ve largely been silent.
Honestly…I am struggling with burn out.
I have lost all sense of work-life balance and am leaning towards this horrible practice known as ‘work life integration.’ As a practice lead trying to launch offices in two new cities, I typically work a 50-60 hour week, with my work in the Answer community, User Group, and the Accidental Admins being extra on top of that.
I have a 3-year-old son, a Pirates season ticket plan, and the overwhelming desire to stop getting fat and return to my marathon running days of 4 years ago. I want to cook more meals instead of settling for what is fast, take my kid to the playground, Children’s Museum, Pirates games, while mixing in time for my wife, personal pursuits, home projects, and maybe squeezing in a vacation. At the same time, I feel an incredible amount of guilt and pressure to not let this wonderful blog and the Accidental Admin persona suffer.
In the face of trying to do everything, I’ve falling into the unhealthy habit of doing nothing. I stay up late at night worrying about everything I want get done, feeling so wiped out in the morning I waste the early hours, then try to play catch up for the rest of my day.
This photo is a great example. On the 4th of July, I went to watch the fireworks from the Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh, right next to PNC Park. Great social media post that screams, ‘my life is awesome!’ The reality is the 3 hours before that and until 1am after getting home that night, I was working on a production deployment for a client.
I am struggling with focusing on my client work, have been letting my business development efforts slide, slowing down on my work in the Answer community, throwing together User Group meetings at the last minute, and have been letting my kid watch Minions and PJ Masks while I try to write the same sentences over and over again for this blog.
The focus and determination that usually characterize my efforts are lacking in every way; even cooking dinner, a personal pleasure, seems like so much of an effort that a microwavable something seems like the better idea most days of the week.
I haven’t used my home gym in over two months, have gained 5 pounds since April, am not sleeping well, and feel like I’m merely servicing all areas of life instead of being truly present.
Please don’t feel bad or pity for me; I’ve arrived at this point by letting my discipline and good habits slip more and more until I’ve arrived at this point. I’m writing this as a way for me to get honest with myself as to how far from the ideal I’ve wandered.
I’m hoping in putting this out into the world and admitting my struggles, I’ll find the motivation to bounce back and get things back on track.
I do have a plan for coming back from where I am, I’m just scared to write the details here so that I don’t feel accountable to it (knowing that I should…). There are enough hours in the day for me to accomplish everything I want; I just have to reconnect with the drive and discipline that allowed me to get there before.
I’m open to your thoughts and suggestions – I hope those of you that have been where I am can share your experiences and wisdom; I can use the help as I try to get back on track.